Cullen slams plan for expedited environmental review process

Cullen slams plan for expedited environmental review process

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

Body found in Vanderhoof motel

Police currently investigating suspicious death

Bylaw barking up the wrong tree

Critics point out inconsistencies, other problems

Fatal collision claims life of community leader

On Friday, May 18, a collision, just eight kilometres east of Vanderhoof,… Continue reading

Ceremony an important step toward healing

Residential School survivors honoured

Presentations at council meeting suggest flooding is unlikely

Council and Rio Tinto cautiously optimistic

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Langley event one of five held in B.C.

Most Read