Controversy Mars Start Of Review Of Asia Pipeline

Published January 11, 2012 3:54AM (EST)

KITIMAAT VILLAGE, British Columbia (AP) — The chief of an aboriginal community that stands to be most affected by a proposed pipeline to Canada's Pacific coast is questioning whether Canada's Conservative government already plans to approve the pipeline just as the review gets under way.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has ratcheted up support for Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would allow Canadian oil to be shipped to Asia.

An environmental review of the project began Tuesday. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver released a letter on the eve of the review attacking opponents, saying "environmental and other radical groups" are trying to block it no matter the benefit to Canada.

Haisla First Nation Chief Ellis Ross says the government is discrediting the review process.

By Salon Staff

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