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Enbridge confident of Northern Gateway approval – The Globe and Mail

Feb. 04 2014

Enbridge is so confident of a favourable decision by the federal government that it is already preparing to launch a procurement process for the Northern Gateway pipeline project.

A Joint Review Panel recommended approval of the 1,200-kilometre project in mid-December, saying it would be in the best interest of Canadians. The federal cabinet has 180 days from the time it receives the report to make a final decision. Since the JRP announced its findings, the pipeline has come under increased attack, with several environmental groups and First Nations filing applications in Federal Court calling for a judicial review.

“I’m not giving up. Number one,” Janet Holder, an Enbridge vice-president replied when she was asked at a Surrey Board of Trade luncheon if the company might abandon the controversial pipeline in the face of those legal challenges.

But Ms. Holder, who is the lead figure for the Northern Gateway project in British Columbia, said Enbridge is hoping – and planning – for final government approval in June.

“We are probably one of the few pipeline proponents who are actually going ahead with a website on how B.C., especially small businesses, can be involved in this project, without having approval to build the project,” she said. “We realize we need to get ahead of the game, and make sure people understand our processes, how they can get involved in the processes, what roles they can play, and the procedures around doing that. Because once we get the approval, we want to hit the ground running pretty hard, so we’re sort of putting a bit of the cart before the horse here.”

Ms. Holder said more information would be made available shortly to businesses interested in participating in the $6.3-billion project.

Ms. Holder, who has been touring the province constantly talking to any groups prepared to listen, was asked what Enbridge would do if government rejects the project.

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