Enbridge to hold Morinville open house on pipeline

by Colin Smith

Morinville residents are getting an opportunity to learn more about the controversial Northern Gateway Project and have their own views heard.

On Oct. 14, Enbridge will be holding an information session in Morinville on the $6.5 billion Northern Gateway Pipeline it is proposing to build to take Alberta crude oil to the B.C. coast for shipment across the Pacific.

Sessions such as this are part of the conditions that must be met for the project to go ahead, according to Sam Munckhof-Swain, Enbridge senior Aboriginal and stakeholder relations advisor.

“The project received federal approval in June but with 209 conditions,” Munckhof-Swain said. Among those conditions was that Enbridge would consult with aboriginal groups and stakeholders.

The pipeline route runs 1,177 kilometres from Bruderheim to Kitimat, passing just north of Morinville.

“The proposed right of way is coming pretty close to Morinville,” said Munckhof-Swain. “So we decided to hold a session in the town.”

The information session will take place at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre, 9502-100 Avenue, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 14.

It will be held in an open-house format, with a number of stations displaying plans, projections and maps spread out around the room.

“There are not going to be any speeches,” Munckhof-Swain stated. “We really want to encourage one-on-one discussion. It will be for us to provide information and for stakeholders to provide feedback. We’re hoping the public comes down and discusses,” he said. “We’re looking for a lot of people in Morinville and Sturgeon County to come out and find out about Northern Gateway.”

The session is one of 10 currently underway in communities along the right of way. The most recent was in Terrace, B.C., and the one in Morinville will be followed by sessions in Whitecourt and Grande Prairie.

Since its inception the Northern Gateway Project has faced major opposition, particularly in B.C., from Aboriginal groups and others concerned about risks to the environment posed by the pipeline.

More information is available by contacting Enbridge at info@northerngateway.ca or 1-888-434-0533.

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