News / Vancouver

Not so clear sailing in 'misleading' Enbridge animation

Nearly 1,000 square kilometres of islands are missing from an Enbridge animation depicting the channel tankers would pass through to access its Northern Gateway Pipeline.

The animated video on Enbridge’s website maps out the route the proposed pipeline would take to transport crude from the oil sands to Kitimat, and on to Asia.

It’s a simple, cartoonish illustration that shows the Rocky Mountains to be mere speed hump on the landscape. And the crowded Douglas Channel – which tankers would navigate to pick up crude from Kitimat – is depicted as a wide-open thoroughfare to the Pacific Ocean.

Critics argue the animation is deliberately misleading, and Lori Waters is among them.

She was one of the first to spot the flaw in the animation.

“I viewed the video, and as soon as I saw it, it just seemed absolutely wrong to me,” she told Metro on Wednesday. “It seemed to have been designed to purposefully mislead the public, which is unconscionable for a project with this level of associated risk.”

A graphic designer by trade, Waters decided to create her own true-to-life version of the Enbridge illustration.

She scanned hydrography charts and Google Earth maps to fill in the gaps with islands Enbridge had neglected to include in its animation.

Through her research, she discovered nearly 1,000 square kilometres of islands she says are omitted from the original video.

Enbridge could not be reached for comment by deadline Wednesday. However the animation clearly states it “is for illustrative purposes only. It is meant to be broadly representational, not to scale.”

But Waters says the disclaimer doesn’t relieve Enbridge of its responsibility to relay the dangers of running tankers through Douglas Channel.

“It is clearly misrepresentation, and there is absolutely no reason and no excuse for them to have removed the islands,” she said.