NOTE TO PARTICIPANTS AND INTERVENORS: Environment is a low priority for convincing the JRP to scrap the Northern Gateway project – emphasize “public interest.” That’s the message in the Tyee article “Quiet Shift in Feds’ Criteria for Approving Northern Gateway.” The article shows how the JRP was originally set up as an environmental assessment, but has been changed in the fine print to be a “needs” assessment. In contrast to the original preamble creating the JRP, in two subsequent documents – a “Procedural Direction” and the “Hearing Order” – the government shifted the very purpose of the panel:
…in three easy steps we go from the JRP being instructed to basically conduct an EA of the project, taking “need for the project” into consideration as part of that EA, to the JRP in effect usurping its own mandate by deciding to concentrate on the need for the project, with passing reference to environmental impacts.
Their message is clear to those who want to affect the panel’s outcome and protect their land from environmental disasters:
With this classic bait and switch manoeuvre, the JRP is signalling to the legions of people and NGOs who oppose the project on environmental grounds: If you want to defeat this project, you’ll have to convince the panel that it is not in the public interest.
Please read the full article here, and learn about the JRP’s new strategy to push Northern Gateway through.