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In a press conference on September 4th, Elizabeth May MP (Saanich and Gulf islands) and Andrew Weaver MLA (Oak Bay – Gordon Head) presented information that the federal government is moving forward with a Kitimat region research program, while the BC government has said no to the Northern Gateway Project.

The Federal Government is moving forward over the next two years with a $100 million plus, ‘Complementary Measures Project’ (now called ‘World Class’) to research and model the complex waterways in the Kitimat and Hecate Straights region. In essence this is a federal government subsidy to the Northern Gateway Project, as they are unable to satisfy basic safety, environmental and regulatory requirements. In fact documents from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans identified that: “Behaviour models specific to dilbit spills do not exist, and existing commercial models for conventional oil do not allow parameter specific modifications.”

On the federal level contrary to what Stephen Harper has said about awaiting the evidence and panel results, the Government of Canada has been pushing ahead with spending over $100 million to support what should be industry based research. This comes at a time of major cuts to science funding for climate change, marine contaminants and ELA.

In its thorough submission to the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel the British Columbia Government stated: “the Province is not able to support approval of the project, and submits that its concerns respecting NG’s ability to respond to a spill should be given serious consideration by the JRP”. Should a spill occur, the research, data and evaluation of the effects of diluted bitumen (dilbit) on both land, fresh water and marine environments are simply not available, neither are the procedures, protocols, equipment and expertise that will be required to respond.

Available Downloads:

Media-Statement – media-releaseBackground Slides


  1. Aiden-
    September 7, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    If the project does go through, could the money help with the research in areas of science to do with climate change, ELA and marine contaminant? And also help other aspects regarding the environment, protection and cleaner energy?

  2. Aiden-
    September 7, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Why is it that because it’s a subsidy means it’s okay for them to fund something that’s not safe? What are ” parameter specific modifications” ? What are the “evidence and panel results” relating to? What kind of research costs 100 000 000$ ? What does that money go towards in research? What is the ELA? If there simply isn’t even a safegaurd in place for cleaning up an oil spill how could it even be considered that they would do this. Does the federal government not respect the precious land of BC or even the people who said “no” from the BC government. What is the point of having a provincal government if the federal gov’t does not listen? Even if a spill happens and we had all the equipment, procedures, protocols and expertise how much potential damage could be cause to the environment? Is the money worth disregarding what BC government says and disrespect what the the citizens of canada value the most about where we live? If they do or do not go through with the Northern Gateway, would Canadas economy downfall or be hurt? And what could that money do to help “reasearch” for Climate Change, marine contaminants and ELA?