Smithers has become the third northwestern British Columbia municipal council to vote against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, joining Prince Rupert and Terrace. Earlier, one regional district, Skeena Queen Charlotte, also voted against the controversial pipeline and tanker project.
The vote in Smithers was 5-1.
Smithers Councillor Phil Brienesse, in a statement posted on his Facebook page, said
I brought forth a new motion to oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway project. The motion passed 5-1 after careful and considerable debate by council. My decision was based in part on new information that came out from recent decisions made in Terrace, SQCRD, and Prince Rupert that made it clear that local governments had the right and are clearly permitted to provide information to the Joint Review Panel. Since the previous motion was tabled with the reasoning being that it was felt we should not be influencing the JRP it seemed appropriate to bring forth a new motion at this time taking into consideration that we made the decision based on the information currently available.
Brienesse was quoted by CFJW on Tuesday night: “I hope this really brings our community together and in particular what it does, is it brings the north together so now we have Smithers, Terrace, Prince Rupert, and the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District all opposing Enbridge, in their own unique ways that makes sense to their community,” said Brienesse, adding “we have a united North, so I am very positive about this.”
CFJW said the only vote against the motion was from Councillor Charlie Northrup, who noted not all councillors were present for last night’s meeting — and he wanted to table it until everyone was there.
Enbridge spokesman Paul Stanway, speaking on CBC Radio, repeated what he said to Northern View after the Prince Rupert vote, that it was better for all communities to wait until the Joint Review Panel had finished the hearings and then make a decision based on all the evidence.