The Northern Gateway pipeline is a project that “Canada perhaps cannot afford to lose”, Macdonald-Laurier Institute author Robert Hage told the CBC program the Exchange.

Hage is the author of the MLI paper titled “Risk, Prevention and Opportunity: Northern Gateway and the marine environment”.

It argues that the builders of Northern Gateway and other pipelines still have work to do in engaging with First Nations and other groups to prevent an oil spill.

Hage says that following Alaska’s example when it comes to Aboriginal engagement in pipeline development will help Northern Gateway move forward.

”It’s a huge project that’s going to bring in billions of dollars in revenue and I think at this particular stage it’s something that Canada perhaps cannot afford to lose”, Hage told the CBC.

Hage recommends that Canadian governments and businesses follow Alaska when it comes to Aboriginal involvement. One of the problems, he says, is that as it stands now jobs for First Nations are not fully guaranteed.

More dialogue between the various governments that are involved should help as well.

“The government of Alberta and the government of BC and the government of Canada have to sit down to start talking to one another”, he said.

To watch the full interview, click here.

The paper was also featured in a story in the Globe and Mail.