SULTAN JESSA: Green light for pipeline

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he Tory government in Ottawa will not have a smooth sailing explaining to Canadians why the long-awaited and controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline is one project the country needs to prosper.

This pipeline is between the Alberta oil sands and the British Columbia coast.

The $6.5-billion project is contingent on Enbridge satisfying about 210 conditions placed on the proposal by the regulatory review panel.

The way the green light for this massive project was announced make you wonder if the Conservatives are now having a second thought on this project.

The announcement was brief and not many ministers were around to answer questions from the haunting media.

It all boils down to the 2015 federal elections.

The Conservatives have to keep and win many ridings in Alberta and British Columbia.

At this time, it looks like the MPs will have an extremely tough time trying to convince Albertans and the British Columbians this project will bring wealth, prosperity and economic development to these regions.

The pipeline is a hot potato.

The Opposition New Democrats led by Thomas Mulcair and the Liberals headed by Justin Trudeau, the son of Canada’s former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau have openly announced they will kill the proposal if elected.

On the surface, this seems an empty threat.

But, one cannot be sure.

The First Nations, environmental groups and many politicians of all stripes have already pledged to fight this project.

And it also depends on the Calgary-based company meeting all the conditions set by the National energy Board.

The company has a huge task before it.

It will have to explain and consult with the aboriginals and others who are concerned and worried about this project.

Many are rightly worried and concerned the pipeline will likely threaten caribou, grizzly bears and other wildlife and the scenic environment.

This pipeline has been in the making since 2002.

It is 1,178-kilometre long.

The pipeline will transport up to 525,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to British Columbia.

Oil will then be loaded onto supertankers and shipped to new oil-hungry Pacific Rim markets.

Mulcair has spoken about a severe threat to social order while Trudeau said the pipeline threatens the B.C. coastal economy and jobs of thousands who live along the shore.

If all goes well – I doubt if this will happen – the pipeline could start by next year and will be operational by 2018 or 2019.

Shipping Canadian oil to new customers has become a priority for Ottawa.

Canada is trying its best to enter the world stage as a major oil producer in the world.

Organizations: Enbridge, Conservatives, First Nations

Geographic location: Alberta, Ottawa, British Columbia British Columbia.At Pacific Rim

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