TERRACE, B.C. - One of the largest cities in northwestern British Columbia has officially joined the opposition to the Enbridge Inc., (TSX:ENB) Northern Gateway project.

Councillors in Terrace have voted 5-2 to oppose plans for construction of the $5.5-billion pipeline from the Edmonton-area to Kitimat, 60 kilometres south of Terrace, where a tanker port would be built to ship oil sands crude to Asia.

The Monday night vote ends years of fence-sitting by Terrace councillors, with one noting the pipeline and port are good for Ottawa and Alberta, but leave Terrace, Kitimat and the surrounding communities with few benefits and most of the risk.

Mayor Dave Pernarowski voted against the motion, saying Terrace could find itself in a precarious position if it opposes the pipeline before environmental and federal reviews wrap up.

The vote comes as a Joint Review Panel returns to B.C. to continue an estimated two years of hearings examining the Northern Gateway Project.

The panel has already held public hearings in several northwest communities, including Terrace, and will hear oral submissions on Friday and Saturday in Prince Rupert, 140 kilometres west of Terrace.