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

Two individuals arrested who the Vanderhoof RCMP say are allegedly linked to B&E’s and thefts in the community

A long chase ensued where the accused fled from the police twice, and tried to get away on stolen Kayaks

Precipitation levels low for the month of June

Both June and July have seen low to average precipitation levels in comparison to last year, says meteorologist

CN train derailment cleared between Terrace and Prince Rupert

The CN mainline is now open, following a train derailment mid-way between… Continue reading

Nechako Valley Otters bringing home multiple medals from swim meets

The next meet for the Nechako Otters is on July 21 and 22

State of local financial crisis declared in Fort St. James

The District will have a job fair on July 31 to help workers find transitioning jobs

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Coast Tsimshian sign historic stewardship agreement

Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla plan to work as one to preserve traditional lands

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read