Judges decision on approving Northern Gateway pipeline

Enbridge’s 1177 km Northern Gateway double pipeline project is currently waiting for three Federal Appeal Court judges to make a decision on whether to support or quash the government’s approval of the project.

The court believes the government did not receive aboriginal consent or consider the environmental factors when it approved the project

The government approved the project in June 2014, which followed recommendations from a review panel that considered the environment, along with 209 conditions.

As a result, First Nations, environmental groups, and a labour union launched an appeal stating that the review panel did not adequately consult with the aboriginal groups or consider the environment.

Speaking on behalf of the First Nations, Lawyer Robert Janes stated: “At its heart, the duty to fair consultation is a conversation to reach mutual understanding and the Crown simply failed to do that. What could have been used here was a bit more diplomacy rather than what I would say is the somewhat dishonourable approach that the Government of Canada took to dealing with the core issues of title and governance rights.”

Advocates for the project argue that the review was fair and detailed

Federal Government Lawyer Jan Brongers said: “Detailed information was provided to the First Nations about the impacts the project would have. They had an opportunity to be heard. Their concerns were taken seriously. They were not dismissed out of hand, and accommodation measures were implemented where possible. And when not, an explanation was given.”

Edited from various sources by Stephanie Roker

Sources: Niagara This Week, Winnipeg Free Press, The Globe and Mail

Published on 09/10/2015

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