BY MIKE DE SOUZA, POSTMEDIA NEWS
OTTAWA — The proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline threatens critical habitat of humpback whales off the coast of British Columbia, says newly released internal federal documents from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
The warning was included in a summary of a draft recovery strategy for the species that was to be introduced in 2010.
Humpback whales were listed in 2005 as “threatened” under the federal Species At Risk Act, requiring the government to produce the recovery plan, but the species has been increasing in numbers and presence on the B.C. coast.
If built, the Northern Gateway pipeline would link the oilsands region of Alberta to a shipping terminal in Kitimat, on the northwest coast of B.C., opening the door for more Canadian oil exports to be sent across the Pacific Ocean to Asia…
Enbridge says it has consulted more than 200 environmental experts and scientists to analyze potential impacts, and it has incorporated its research into the pipeline project proposal…
Other scientists and environmental groups have criticized Enbridge’s assessment of the potential risks.
“I did review what they provided and that was probably the most superficial environmental assessment that I’ve read in my lifetime,” said Paul Paquet, a senior scientist with the B.C.-based Raincoast Conservation Foundation. “It was very deficient in terms of marine mammals and marine birds.”
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