Sturgeon County Councillor Pat Tighe and Sturgeon County Mayor Tom Flynn (far right), with Sam Munckhof-Swain, Senior Aboriginal & Stakeholder Relations Advisor Northern Gateway at the Community Information Session held Tuesday night at the MCCC. More than fifty people attended to learn more about the Northern Gateway Project. – Lucie Roy Photo
by Morinville News Staff with files from Colin Smith
Morinville and Sturgeon County residents had an opportunity to learn more about the controversial Northern Gateway Project and have their own views heard Oct. 14.
Enbridge held an information session at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre 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. About 50 people attended the four-hour open house. A representative from the company also made a presentation to Morinville Town Council the same night.
Sam Munckhof-Swain, Enbridge senior Aboriginal and stakeholder relations advisor, said information sessions like the one held in Morinville were part of the conditions that must be met for the project to go ahead.
“The project received federal approval in June but with 209 conditions,” Munckhof-Swain told Morinville News prior to the Oct. 14 open house.
Ray Doering, Gateway’s manager of engineering, said the pipeline route runs 1,177 kilometres from Bruderheim to Kitimat, passing just north of Morinville. “Approx 57 kilometres of the pipeline runs through farmland in Sturgeon County and 10 kilometres through Alexander First Nation,” Doering said, noting the underground pipeline will run 5 kilometres north of Morinville, 3 kilometres north of Bon Accord and 4 km north of Gibbons.
The project will use 36-inch diameter pipe to transport bitumen from Bruderheim to Kitamat and 20-inch diameter pipe to transport natural gas condensate from Kitimat back to Alberta. That pipeline will be able to transport 525,000 barrels of oil per day and 193000 barrels of condensate per day. On the oil side of the equation, the pipeline has the potential to carry roughly 1700 trucks or more than 800 rail cars of oil each day.
Interested parties, including members of Sturgeon County Council, had the opportunity to see cross sections of the proposed pipe as well as just what the pipelines will be carrying.
The Oct. 14 session was one of 10 currently underway in communities along the right of way. The Morinville presentation will be followed by sessions in Whitecourt and Grande Prairie.
More information is available at gatewayfacts.ca.
Above: Peter Hansen, Senior Aboriginal Relations Strategy Advisor Northern Gateway shows what will be travelling through the pipeline as well as some of the equipment used in the process. Hansen poses with cross sections of the 36-inch and 20-inch pipes that will be used. – Lucie Roy Photos