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Enbridge hires former MP Jim Prentice to woo aboriginals

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Jim Prentice. (QMI FIILE PHOTO)

Jim Prentice. (QMI FIILE PHOTO)

Enbridge has brought on a former federal Conservative cabinet minister in its hopes to bring aboriginal groups onside with its Northern Gateway oil pipeline.

Jim Prentice, former Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, was brought on by the company to consult with native bands in the province regarding the controversial pipeline.

The pipeline would ship oil from Alberta to Kitimat, where it would be loaded on tankers for export.

Prentice said he thinks the project can strike a balance between aboriginal needs, the environment and the oil industry.

"I am doing this because I believe that First Nations should be full partners in resource development and they should be owners of projects like the Northern Gateway," he wrote in a statement. "This project can bring jobs, economic opportunity, community development and educational opportunities to First Nation Canadians.”

One of the major obstacles for the project is seen to be First Nations, who own vast areas of land the pipeline will need to pass to reach its terminus.

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