James Lewis | Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
It's not a stance - it's a list of demands...
The B.C. government is outlining the minimum requirements needed for the Province to support "heavy oil pipelines."
Projects like Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline and Kinder Morgan.
Five requirements must be met.
The rules seemingly - are common sense.
Environmental approval from the Joint Review Panel - and world-leading water and land oil spill response and prevention.
Environment Minister Terry Lake says the province also wants a so-called "fair share" of the economic benefits.
"Analysis indicates that only 8% of the incremental fiscal benefits come to British Columbia... and yet 100% of the marine risk and about 58% of the landbase risk sits with British Columbia."
Greater co-operation with First Nations communites is also required, however the government says Aboriginals wouldn't have a "veto" over any project.
So what happens if the Province doesn't get its way?
Lake wouldn't say if B.C. would try to halt the projects from going forward.
"I'd like to think that as Canadians we've always found our way through these issues... and I have no doubt that we'll be able to do that. We've seen these issues before in other jurisdictions where there's some debate over resources and the share of those resources."
Lake adds the Northern Gateway proposal requires more than 60 provincial permits to go ahead.
Also at the briefing was Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Mary Polak.
She says the Province's demands reflect the concerns of First Nations.
"First Nations must be provided with the opportunities, information and resources neccessary to participate in, and benefit from these proposed projects. We will not contemplate support for new heavy-oil pipeline proposals, before we see the evidence of such initiative and effort."
Polak says she can't think of a single First Nations community that has expressed support for the Enbridge project.
Eric Swanson with the non-profit "Dogwood Initiative" was outside the downtown cabinet offices where the annoucement took place.
"I think the government is trying to look like they have things under control, but what we really wanted them to do was follow the lead of the people most affected, up on the coast, and up in B.C.'s big salmon watersheds who are saying no... and move on."
Swanson argues any pipeline would only hurt B.C.