Cullen says Tories changing rules on Enbridge hearings

Retroactively applying new, tighter deadlines for environmental assessments to the Northern Gateway project "entirely changes...

  • Apr. 3, 2012 2:00 p.m.

Retroactively applying new, tighter deadlines for environmental assessments to the Northern Gateway project  “entirely changes the rules of the game” and lays an already heated process wide open to costly, time-consuming court cases, says MP Nathan Cullen.

“I’ve never heard of a government changing everything halfway through,” Cullen said in a press release. “They’re rigging the entire process and they’re not ashamed of it.”

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced, in last week’s budget, that major resource projects will receive only one “streamlined” environmental assessment review lasting no longer than 24 months.  Currently, major resource projects can take as long six years to approve.   Flaherty confirmed the changes include the proposed Enbridge dual pipeline that would transport raw bitumen and condensate between the Alberta oilsands and Asian markets.

It’s unclear what the new rules mean for the Joint Review Panel looking at the Northern Gateway project, however some have suggested it could mean the hearings will wrap up this year.

Cullen pointed to the widespread outrage that has erupted in British Columbia since changes to the Enbridge environmental assessment process were announced yesterday.

“We’ve been hearing from stunned constituents all day who cannot believe the arrogance of this government and the utter disregard it has for a full examination of the huge environmental impacts and risks of the Enbridge pipeline,” Cullen said.

He noted the comments of Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs earlier today, warning of “battle in the courtrooms and on the land itself” if Conservatives follow through on plans to speed up the environmental review process for Enbridge.

Cullen called the new tighter environmental assessment deadlines “a rubber stamp that is not good for business or the environment.”

 

Just Posted

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

Photo Gallery: Terry Fox Run in Vanderhoof

Residents run to support cancer research

Vanderhoof runners win big at racing event held in Prince George

Brian Nemethy wins the 14 km men’s race for the fourth time and Nolan McCleary secured gold in the 5 km run for the second time.

Forestry, internet, housing and Bill 52 are some discussions council will bring up at UBCM

The Union of BC Municipalities conference will be held in Vancouver from Sept 23 to Sept 29. Vanderhoof mayor and some members of council will be attending it

Vanderhoof Airport Development society wants an aerodrome on the Nechako River

Since the DOV decommissioned the municipal dock, VADS and the district have been in a never-ending feud

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Most Read