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Minister won't say whether Ottawa will listen to pipeline plebiscite

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It has been a week since the people of Kitimat voted “no” to the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline in a non-binding plebiscite. As pipeline protests continue around the province, the Federal Government maintains the process is adequate for addressing your environmental concerns.

Minister of Western Economic Development Michelle Rempel says the government has a strong framework of safety. “We have been absolutely clear as a government we will not approve anything that is not safe for Canadians. And how do we determine whether or not anything is safe, or in the country’s best interest? Through the joint review panel process.”

As for environmental concerns, “I don’t think we need to sacrifice that in order to develop our natural resources. We can have our cake and eat it too when it comes to the energy infrastructure debate,” says Rempel.

But Rempel didn’t answer whether the government decision on pipelines will consider the Kitimat plebiscite or various protests around the Lower Mainland over proposed expansion of the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline.

“We have review processes that won’t review anything that’s not safe for Canadians based on science,” Rempel claims. The government is expected to make a decision on the Northern Gateway project in June. The pipeline would carrying diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands to BC ports to be shipped to Asian markets.