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Don't blame pipeline stance for NDP 'collapse': Dogwood campaign director

As analysts scratched their heads over whether aggressive campaigning by environmental groups against oil pipelines helped or hurt the New Democrats, the campaign director of one of the leading green advocacy groups, the Dogwood Initiative, weighed in.

"A lot of factors influence the outcome of elections and there will no doubt be plenty of speculation in the next few days about what caused the collapse of the NDP," said Eric Swanson in a press release sent out around 11 pm. "Last week, Dogwood commissioned polling on what effect the NDP's opposition to Kinder Morgan had and found the party benefited substantially from making the announcement.

"The majority of British Columbians oppose the expansion of oil tanker traffic on B.C.'s coast and will continue to pressure their politicians to stand up for our coast."

The press release also quotes Swanson saying:

"The BC Liberals have not taken a clear position for or against Enbridge's and Kinder Morgan's oil tanker plans. Although No Tankers champions Rob Fleming, Jennifer Rice and Andrew Weaver were elected, tonight's result is a disappointment.

"Just 17 days from now the BC Liberal government has to file its final position with the joint review panel reviewing Enbridge's oil pipeline and tanker proposal. Given the Liberals have said Enbridge is not meeting the five conditions set out last summer, we are hopeful the next government will stand up for B.C. and say no to Enbridge, in line with the wishes of the B.C. public. If they don't, citizens will rise up once again to force the government to take action."

David Beers is editor of The Tyee.

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