NEWS

Dix would pull out of federal Northern Gateway review

08/22/2012 04:35 EDT | Updated 10/22/2012 05:12 EDT
B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix says if elected, he will pull out of the federal review of the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal.

Dix says New Democrats would give notice if elected as government in May, and seek to create a "made in B.C." environmental review.

"Within a week of taking office, we will serve the federal government with 30 days’ notice to terminate the 2010 deal in which the Liberals signed away B.C.'s interests," Dix said.

"British Columbia’s citizens, communities and First Nations must have full confidence that their voices will be heard by Victoria."

Dix says the current process lets the federal government speak on behalf of B.C., but he believes the province has jurisdiction over the pipeline and the ability to decide whether it meets environmental standards.

"What I'm saying is we have to have an environmental review, and have our own certification process in B.C.," Dix said Wednesday.

"What the federal government does at that point, given they've accepted we have some of the jurisdiction here, remains to be seen. But we are going to assert our jurisdiction here."

Lawyer Murray Rankin acknowledges there is consensus among constitutional lawyers that Ottawa would have the final say on the pipeline.

But he says there is no definitive ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada on who has jurisdiction on environmental issues.

Premier Christy Clark, meanwhile, is dismissing Dix's plans.

Speaking at a hospital construction site tour in Parksville on Vancouver Island, Clark said she doesn't get the point of the NDP wanting a second review because they've been clear they oppose the project.

She also reiterated her concerns about the pipeline being too much risk with too little reward for British Columbia.

MORE:cbcNews