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A view of Douglas Channel near Kitimat, B.C. About 200 tankers a year would sail up the sound to access oil from the Northern Gateway pipeline. (JOHN LEHMANN/JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
A view of Douglas Channel near Kitimat, B.C. About 200 tankers a year would sail up the sound to access oil from the Northern Gateway pipeline. (JOHN LEHMANN/JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Background: The Northern Gateway pipeline review process Add to ...

A federal government decision on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline is expected to be announced after markets close on Tuesday, marking the culmination of months of speculation since the joint review panel recommended in December that the project be approved.

What follows is a compiled summary of the project proposal and reaction from stakeholders and our readers over the past several months.

The route

This map shows the route of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, stretching from the oil sands north of Edmonton, Alta., to the coastal city of Kitimat, B.C., which is blocked from the open ocean by many islands. The pipeline would deliver 520,000 barrels a day of oil sands bitumen to the coast, opening new markets for the Alberta-based oil industry.

See also: Graphic: A detailed look at the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline

Conditions from B.C.

In November 2013, premiers Christy Clark of B.C. and Alison Redford of Alberta ended an impasse over what it would take for B.C. to agree to a pipeline through its territory. The five conditions are:

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Condition 1: Environmental review

Successful completion of the formal environmental review processes.
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Condition 2: Marine oil spill response

World-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for British Columbia.
Ian Jackson/The Canadian Press

Condition 3: Land spill prevention

World-leading practices for land spill prevention, response and recovery systems for British Columbia.
Andy Clark/Reuters

Condition 4: Aboriginal concerns

Legal requirements regarding Aboriginal and treaty rights must be addressed and First Nations be provided with the opportunities to benefit from these projects.
John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Condition 5: Economic benefits for B.C.

British Columbia receives a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits of proposed heavy oil projects that reflect the risk borne by the province.

The Joint Review Panel report

A National Energy Board joint review panel looking into the Northern Gateway project gave it a conditional green light on Dec. 19, 2013. In its report, embedded below, it recommended that Ottawa approve the $6.5-billion pipeline and crude supertanker terminal in Kitimat,. B.C., once the government and Enbridge Inc. have addressed the 209 environmental, safety and financial conditions set down by the panel.

Report of the Joint Review Panel for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project

Reaction to the report

After the Joint Review Panel report was released, we gathered reaction from across the country here:

See also: Readers react: What’s your opinion on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline?

For further reading on what to expect from the decision, see the headlines below.

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