Credits: (QMI Agency File)
The SQCRD, which provides local government services to 20,000 residents living on the province's north coast, made its decision at a meeting Saturday.
Under the current proposal, the controversial $5.5-billion pipeline would carry 525,000 barrels of oil sands-derived crude from Edmonton to Kitimat, B.C.
"This is another powerful statement that elected local governments in Northern British Columbia are opposed to the Enbridge Gateway oil tanker and pipeline project," Jennifer Rice, a Prince Rupert councillor, said in a statement. "Any effort to ram this project through will be a direct attack on our First Nations, the fishing industry and other coastal economies. We encourage development, but the risks are too great with this particular proposal."
The SQCRD, one of 28 regional districts in B.C., says the proposed project "will result in increased crude oil tanker traffic and risk of accidental oil spills in northern coastal waters in British Columbia." It added that an oil spill "will have devastating and long-lasting effects on the Pacific North Coast area that is recognized for its unique and diverse ocean ecosystems, which provide critical marine habitat and marine resources that sustain the social, cultural, environmental and economic health of coastal communities, including First Nations communities."
Last Friday, Enbridge's chief executive, Pat Daniel, said he believes Kitimat, with its sheltered deep-water harbour, is the best terminus for the pipeline.
"Recently, I have indicated that we will re-examine that to see whether there is another way to get to Prince Rupert, but all of our engineering and environmental studies continue to point in the direction of Kitimat being the best alternative," Daniel said. "We want to make sure that we have thoroughly evaluated any and all routing opportunities."
-- with files from Reuters