John Cummins, leader of the BC Conservatives, spoke in Kelowna Thursday night to local business leaders and confirmed his party's support for Enbridge Inc.'s Northern Gateway Pipeline project.
"The BC Conservatives, alone among our province's four major political parties, support the economic development and high-wage job opportunities that will come with construction of the Northern Gateway pipelines," said Cummins.
"Of course, the project must adhere to our nation's stringent environmental laws and regulations.”
“A fair and objective analysis will conclude that the economic benefits to Canada and British Columbia are real and tangible."
The reasons behind the support for the pipeline centers on job-creation and resource management.
“If we don’t do something with these resources,” he said, “someone else will”.
Kelowna resident Daniel Engel asked why British Columbians should trust a company that admits it has lost an estimated 130,000 barrels of oil to spills or leaks in the last decade.
“We’re talking about old pipelines,” answered Cummins. “The technology has improved a great deal since then.”
He also pointed out that all development represents a threat to the environment, but believes the potential benefits outweigh the risks in this case.
“No matter what you do there is some risk,” he added.
“But we need wealth to protect the environment.”