It’s been moved and seconded.
Now the challenge is to get the legislation passed.
NDP MP Nathan Cullen tabled a private members bill in Ottawa Tuesday that, if successful, would ban supertankers from plying the north coast of the province, change how the National Energy Board looks at major projects, and put an irrevocable nail in the Northern Gateway coffin.
“The government of Canada does seem to care what product is being shipped,” he said Tuesday after tabling the bill. “That doesn’t factor into the decision in any meaningful way. We think that should be part of the conversation in any proposal.”
Cullen’s bill would legislate a ban on supertankers on the North Coast, putting into law for the first time a moratorium that will fully protect the region. The bill also seeks to give communities a stronger voice in pipeline reviews and better consider the impacts of projects on value added jobs.
Cullen said there are three ways to stop Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway project – through the courts, which is being done; through legislation; and through the ballot box next year.
The MP, who represents Skeena-Bulkley Valley, very much wants this to be an election issue, specifically in B.C. He says that NDP polling suggests there is strong opposition to the Northern Gateway project, even in Conservative held ridings among Conservative voters. He’s hoping many of those Conservative MPs will support his bill, as it may cost them politically if they don’t.
“We’re going to try and change Conservatives’ minds,” he said. “If we can’t do that, then people will change their Conservative MPs for somebody else.”
He said B.C. will play a larger role in determining the outcome of the federal election.
“There’s no chance of Stephen Harper getting elected if he loses the hearts and minds of British Columbians,” he said.
A spanner in the works of the bill may be if an election is called for the spring, rather than the fall, as has been suggested as the date has now been set for the Mike Duffy trial. Cullen, however, will push on an hopes to get the bill back before the house in early 2015.