+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 13-16F

Northern Gateway Pipelines Support

October 26, 2016
Expiry Date:
November 30, 2019
Active Status:
Strathcona County,
Sturgeon County
3 - Pembina River,
5 - Edmonton East
Industry and Resource Development
Vote Results:

WHEREAS the devastating impacts in the downturn of the economy have been felt by all Canadians, businesses and government; and

WHEREAS the energy sector contributes approximately $9.5 billion (four-year average) in annual royalties, bonuses and crown land sales from the oil and gas industry; and

WHEREAS  Canada’s oil and natural gas sector provides 20 per cent of the Alberta government’s revenue; and

WHEREAS Canada’s oil and gas sector can create jobs for more than 315,000 Albertans; and

WHEREAS the Northern Gateway pipeline will create 4000 jobs during construction and 1000 long-term jobs in First Nations communities and municipalities in Alberta and British Columbia and contribute nearly $98 billion in revenues to local, provincial and federal governments over the 30-year life of the project; and

WHEREAS rural municipalities in Alberta are home to existing pipeline infrastructure and as such, collectively understand that they are a safe and preferable means of transporting energy resources; and

WHEREAS to maximize the value of Canadian resources, market access is paramount and the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline would transport crude oil from Alberta to British Columbia and provide significant access to new markets in the Pacific Rim and fair market prices for Canadian oil; and

WHEREAS on June 30, 2016,  the Federal Court of Appeal found that although the Joint Review Panel’s recommendation related to the Northern Gateway project was acceptable and defensible on the facts and the law; concluded that the Federal Government’s consultation with First Nations and Métis peoples was insufficient and therefore incomplete;

WHEREAS Enbridge has stated they remain committed to listening and working with Indigenous  communities as well as municipalities to ensure the success of the project;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties advocate to the Government of Canada in support of the Northern Gateway Project and market access; and

 FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties collaborate with the Government of Alberta and other municipal associations to request that the Government of Canada conduct new consultations with Indigenous communities along the pipeline route prior to approving or denying the Northern Gateway Project; and

 FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties collaborate with the Government of Alberta and other municipal associations emphasizing the local, provincial, and national benefits that the Northern Gateway Project would provide and encourage support for the Project to be shared publicly.

Member Background:

Northern Gateway is a pipeline project led by Enbridge, which would transport crude oil from Alberta to British Columbia. Northern Gateway is the only Canadian oil pipeline project with Indigenous ownership, represented by The Aboriginal Equity Partners, which represents the 31 Indigenous communities in British Columbia and Alberta who support and have ownership in the Northern Gateway project.

As part of the approval process, the National Energy Board had placed 208 conditions on the project that the ownership group would be required to meet prior to construction. Simultaneously, the federal Court of Appeal ruled that further federal government consultation was required with Indigenous communities, and quashed the approval—referring it back to the federal government for consideration.

As municipalities through which the pipeline would run, Strathcona County and Sturgeon County are both supportive of the overall project and agree that social license from all affected parties is necessary for this project to move forward. We believe other Counties and Municipal Districts agree, based on AAMDC support for the Energy East Pipeline.

Therefore, we would ask the AAMDC share their support for the project with the Federal Government, specifically with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Natural Resources. Further, that this support run collaboratively with the Government of Alberta, and that both the Provincial and the Federal governments drive towards the outcome of ensuring this project move forward, with the support of all communities involved.

Albertans Support Northern Gateway

In June 2016, communities along Northern Gateway’s route expressed their support for Northern Gateway’s extension request by sending letters to the National Energy Board including:

  • 20 out of 20 Alberta communities along pipeline route
  • 17 out of 18 First Nations and Métis communities
  • Unanimous support from the Alberta Chamber of Commerce

Putting Albertans Back to Work

  • With the current downturn in our economy, Alberta is losing our highly skilled work force. Northern Gateway will keep these people here to maintain and grow Alberta’s skilled labour base.

Total construction employment opportunities in Alberta*

Grande Prairie Area Whitecourt Area Sturgeon County / Strathcona County Area
Construction taking place over 3 Phases:

Phase 1 (Pipelines)

1,105 people


Phase 2 (Pipelines)

440 people


Phase 3 (Pump Station)

71 people

1,616 total people working over 3 phases

Construction taking place over 3 Phases:

Phase 1 (Pipelines)

517 people


Phase 2 (Pipelines)

318 people


Phase 3 (Pump Station) 68 people

903 total people working over 3 phases

Construction taking place over 2 Phases:

Phase 1 (Pipelines)

297 people


Phase 2 (Pump Station)

61 people


358 total people working over 2 phases

*note: employment opportunities include temporary, part time and full time jobs taken from Volume 6C of the Regulatory Application 


What kind of skilled Alberta tradespeople/opportunities will be created by Northern Gateway?

Construction Operations Business Opportunities
§  Boilermakers

§  Carpenters

§  Electricians

§  Ironworkers

§  Labourers including trade helpers

§  Operating engineers/heavy equipment operators

§  Pipefitters

§  Truck drivers

§  Welders

§  Control room technicians

§  Heavy equipment operations

§  Maintenance and service pump stations

§  Monitoring pipeline corridor

§  Road maintenance

§  Tank farm operations


§  access roads

§  air charters

§  camps and catering

§  clear, log and salvage

§  fuel supply

§  environmental monitoring and reclamation

§  security

§  surveying

§  trucking



Long-term Jobs in Alberta

  • Northern Gateway will provide 380 long term operational jobs in Alberta
  • Northern Gateway is committed to hiring local residents for all direct operational jobs.

Timeline of Key Events

  • June 2014: Northern Gateway receives certificates from National Energy Board
  • October 2015: Certificates is challenged in Federal Court of Appeal
  • June 30, 2016: Federal Court of Appeal finds that the Joint Review Panel recommendation was acceptable and defensible on the facts and the law. However, it concludes that the Federal Government’s consultation with Indigenous peoples was insufficient and therefore incomplete.  In a two-thirds majority decision, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned Northern Gateway’s approval certificates and puts the matter back to the Federal Government.

The Federal Government now has three choices:

  1. Deny the application (effectively cancel the project)
  2. Conduct new consultations with the Indigenous communities along the pipeline route and re-determine whether to approve the project.
  3. Refer the matter back to the NEB.

The Federal Government stated on September 20 that it will not appeal the June 30 decision, but it has not indicated how it will proceed.  It is expected to make a decision in late 2016.

 Why is Northern Gateway an Emergent Issue Now?

  • Prior to June 30, 2016 Northern Gateway had its approvals and was on a path to construction.
  • Now that the approvals have been overturned, it is important for supportive communities to step up their efforts and advocate that:
    • the Government of Alberta work with local supportive communities and publicly support this critical infrastructure project for Albertans
    • the Federal Government complete the necessary consultation with Indigenous Peoples, as well as engaging with local communities on the importance of this project and ultimately approve the project
  • This advocacy work needs to happen prior to the Federal Cabinet making a decision.

Why Northern Gateway is Critical to All Albertans

  • One of Alberta’s most valuable resources is crude oil, but 99% of all our oil exports go to the United States, now one of our biggest competitors, who purchases our crude oil at deeply discounted prices.
  • Northern Gateway will provide significant access to other international markets and allow Albertans to get a better price for our crude oil.
  • Getting a better price for our crude oil means more royalties collected by the Government of Alberta which can be invested in Alberta schools, universities, hospitals and infrastructure.
  • With the serious decline in Alberta’s economy due to low oil prices, there is growing momentum for increased international market access for our natural resources.
  • Northern Gateway will provide significant access to new markets in the Pacific Rim to secure fair market prices for Alberta’s oil.

Alberta Investment

  • The recent dramatic drop in oil prices coupled with the lack of pipeline infrastructure is not only affecting future production, but also jeopardizing existing Canadian oil production.
  • The significant decrease in oil prices has negatively impacted levels of investment and employment.
  • Northern Gateway will provide a badly needed multi-billion-dollar private infrastructure investment in Alberta’s future including spending $1.5 billion in Alberta communities.
RMA Background:

The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

Government Response:

Energy:  Recent federal government approvals for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and Line 3 Replacement Project are critically important to Alberta’s economic future. We are getting a chance to break our land lock and sell our resource to new markets at better prices. These approvals have shown that we do not need to choose between the environment and building the economy.

The federal government has also directed the National Energy Board to dismiss Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline project application. The Prime Minister and his Cabinet determined that the project is not in the public interest, given that it would result in crude oil tankers transiting through the sensitive ecosystem of the Douglas Channel, which is part of the Great Bear Rainforest. The Government of Alberta (GOA) must respect the authority of the Government of Canada to make these difficult decisions.

The world will continue to rely on oil for many years to come, so it is important that energy is provided by regions like Alberta that take environmental responsibilities seriously. Energy infrastructure projects, such as pipelines, are economically important not only to Alberta, but for all of Canada. One of the surest paths to long-term prosperity for Canada is to develop energy as sustainably as possible and to ship it to international markets via the safest and most efficient method, through infrastructure like pipelines.

The GOA will continue to work collaboratively with industry, governments, First Nations, and other stakeholders to get our products to Canadian tidewater, while supporting processes that ensure any new pipelines are built in a safe and environmentally responsible way.


The AAMDC appreciates the Government of Alberta’s response to this resolution, particularly their recognition of the importance of pipelines to support market access for Alberta’s oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, as the government response indicates, the Government of Canada exercised their jurisdiction and directed the National Energy Board to dismiss the Northern Gateway Pipeline project application. Although the Government of Alberta’s response is appreciated and an encouraging sign for future collaborative advocacy efforts related to market access, this resolution is assigned a status of Intent Not Met due to the Government of Canada’s decision.

Provincial Ministries:
Economic Development and Trade,
Federal Ministries and Bodies:
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development,
Federation of Canadian Muncipalities,
National Energy Board,
Industry Canada
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