Canadian rocker and economist protest B.C. pipeline
Hundreds of Northern Gateway pipeline opponents who marched en masse through the streets of Prince Rupert, B.C. on Saturday were joined by Canadian punk rock star Bif Naked.
The proposed oil pipeline has attracted heated international debate. It would run from the Alberta oil sands to Kitimat, B.C. where crude oil would be loaded onto super tankers bound for Asia.
The Canadian artist voiced her concern for the people who reside near the site of the planned oil line.
"Obviously, I think it's important to protect the area and to protect the interests of the people who live here and who call it home," Bif Naked told CTV News.
But John Winter of the BC Chamber of Commerce says the pipeline proposed by Enbridge Inc. would be a huge economy boost for the county and as a result benefit Canadians.
"Canada has the need to continue to grow its wealth, to grow job creation. The oil sands and all of our natural resources are part of that," Winter said.
He added that by taking advantage of Canada's oil the country could fulfill the demands for better health care and education.
"As an export country we need to get our resources to the markets we send them to. That's what this is really about," Winter said.
Economist Robyn Allan, who authored a report on the Northern Gateway pipeline, disagrees.
"The intent of the Northern Gateway project is to raise the price of oil two to three dollars a barrel on every barrel of oil that's produced in Canada, every year for the next thirty years," Allan told CTV News.
Allan explains her reasoning is based on the theory of supply and demand. She said if the pipeline is built, crude that used to be sent to Eastern Canada would be redirected to Asia, causing prices to increase domestically as Canada's supply decreases.
Winter is skeptical of Allan's report on the Northern Gateway pipeline.
"As we know about economic reports, they can be developed to propose an outcome. And I've read economic reports on this particular project that are diametrically opposed to it," he said.
Winter added his positive opinion is being overshadowed by a vocal and celebrity-endorsed opposition that is dominating energy board hearings.
"What they really need is the other perspective coming forward of why some of those concerns are not necessarily justified," he said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson