Pipeline pitch: Registry reveals Enbridge’s heavy presence in halls of power

Pipeline pitch: Registry reveals Enbridge’s heavy presence in halls of power by Dene Moore, The Canadian Press, August 23, 2012, Montreal Gazette
“Enbridge is the perfect example of a success story from lobbying,” said Roger Harris, a former Liberal member of the B.C. legislature and former vice-president of aboriginal and community partnerships for Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines. … “I can’t imagine a project that’s more complex, yet it (Enbridge) was able to convince the federal government, the Conservatives, of its value to the point that the federal government, who puts in place the regulatory process by which projects are independently evaluated … (Enbridge) had them shamelessly out there supporting the project before their own process was even completed,” Harris said. The Conservatives even changed the environmental regulations that affect the project, he said. “If they don’t like the outcome of that science, they can change it themselves, anyway,” he said of the Conservative government. “I suggest that that is an incredibly good success story of what lobbying can do for you: take something that is not well liked and actually get a government to literally shamelessly support it at the federal level, almost to change the regulations to make it work.” … “We know that Enbridge has many, many paid lobbyists,” Gilchrist said. “We’re never going to be able to compete in that arena. We don’t have that kind of money and when you’re working in the public interest, you’re never going to have a lot of money. What you do have is people.” … Harris, the former Northern Gateway VP, believes Enbridge has been losing the battle for public support — and in B.C., that means losing the battle. … Turning public opinion around, though, will be up to Enbridge alone: the federal Conservatives are now “conspicuous by their silence,” he said. “All the Conservative federal MPs have gone underground,” he said. “They realize that their own personal political fortunes may be tied to how Enbridge executes on the opportunity they provided them, and I suggest they’re a little bit nervous about that now.” [Emphasis added]

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