No 2011 deadline



Your recent article “Now’s the Time for Hwy. 37”, quoted MP Cullen: “the federal government is threatening to move the project off the table if British Columbia doesn’t move quick enough”. This is not true.

The Government of Canada has committed $130 million to the Northwest Transmission Line project, through the Green Infrastructure Fund.

It does not end in 2011, unlike the other Economic Action Plan programs.

We are working in partnership with the Province of British Columbia on this important project, and understand that time is needed to get to a final decision.

The Government of Canada is also taking appropriate steps to review this major investment and ensure it meets all federal requirements.

We take pride in the collaborative relationship that we have with British Columbia.

Chuck Strahl

Minister of


Infrastructure and Communities


In July 2010, after Enbridge’s ruptured pipeline spilled 1 million gallon of toxic tar sand oil in the Kalamazoo River –the biggest oil spill in the US Mid West– Pat Daniels, Enbridge CEO, apologized recognizing to the people of the area “We have negatively impacted your lives.” Enbridge pledged to reimburse residents for all losses.

However six months after the spill, the river remains closed and several residents have not been able to get satisfactory arrangements with the pipeline company for property damages and health issues. They are suing Enbridge for nuisance and negligence for failing to adequately maintain its pipeline and are seeking damages.

Enbridge’s legal defense arguments are very troubling: the company argues that it cannot be held liable for the oil spill because it has followed all relevant laws, regulations and industry standards and the damage was not foreseeable and because “federal, state and/or local authorities and agencies have mandated, directed, approved and/or ratified the alleged actions or omissions.”

And although Enbridge repeatedly told residents it would pay all legitimate expenses, in its legal filing the company says: “The statements at issue, that were made in Defendants’ press releases and brochure, were mere expressions of intention, not offers.”

In short Enbridge is not responsible because spills and pipeline breaks are not foreseeable and if it promised something, it does not have to abide by it because a promise is not an offer. We can only wonder that if Enbridge is not responsible, is it then “irresponsible”?

Perhaps even more importantly, how can anyone, the JRP included, believe any of Enbridge’s promises or commitments that it is making during the review process?

Frank Lehmann

Burns Lake, B.C.