B.C. demands talks with Enbridge 0
Victoria will intervene in the Northern Gateway pipeline review to cross-examine Enbridge Inc. on its capacity for spill prevention, response and financial liability. B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake announced Thursday.
"The risk has to be low enough and the benefits have to be high enough for us to consider this (proposed project) in a positive light," Lake said in Vancouver, adding taxpayers must be fully insured against the cost of any spill.
He also wanted talks with Ottawa to improve existing safety and environmental regulations to "world-class" levels.
Lake deflected criticisms that B.C. Premier Christy Clark's demand for a "fair share" of Alberta's oilsands revenue is an attempt to score political points, when critics suggest she could simply impose fees or tolls on any pipeline or tanker terminal.
"We can discuss all types of mechanisms," he said, "but when you look at the tax revenues, at the current tax policy regime we have, it's clear there's an imbalance in the tax revenues distributed to Canada and Alberta versus British Columbia. So just in the existing tax regime, I think there's capacity to rebalance."
A new poll by Forum Research, meanwhile, suggests Clark's war of words with Alberta Premier Alison Redford over any future oilsands royalties has failed to boost her sagging poll numbers.
The survey conducted Tuesday found the B.C. Liberals with 23% popular support, up slightly from 20% a month previously, and the B.C. NDP was virtually unchanged at 49%.
The opposition NDP would win 79 of 85 seats if a provincial election was held today, compared to just four for the Liberals.