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Groups slam changes to environmental process

Groups are slamming the federal Conservative government's plan to speed up the environmental review process, suggesting it will become a rubber stamp that won't protect the health and safety of Canadians.

"This is about bulldozing things through over the objection of people or without thinking it through," the Sierra Club's John Bennett told CTV's Power Play.

Streamlining the environmental review process was a key plank in the Tories' first majority government budget, released Thursday.

But Bennett, the executive director of the environment watchdog, said the changes will result in weaker environmental assessments, as well as projects being approved without a full understanding of the social, economic and environmental impacts.

... Read more »

In war, first disrupt communications …

We got the word last night. The federal government won't be funding the Canadian Environmental Network (CEN) any more. The network consists of 600 groups from coast to coast to coast.

The news came about the same time Heritage Minister James Moore tweeted the announcement of his new War of 1812 iPhone App - part of a $29 million program to celebrate a 200 year old war.

CEN is a coordinating body that doesn't take stands. It just helps environmental organizations network and facilitates communication with the federal government. It’s the very definition of non-partisan. ... Read more »

Decision day for Mackenzie pipeline

The National Energy Board will hand down its ruling Thursday on the $16-billion Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline project. [...] Peter Linder with Delta One Capital tells 660News he doubts the pipeline will ever be built. [...] The executive director of Sierra Club Canada agrees. John Bennett says thanks to bleak return prospects, it looks like the environmental movement won't have to worry about the impact the development will have on the northern Canada.

Sierra Club Canada joins with No Tar Sands Oil Network on letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on her trip to Canada

Sierra Club Canada joined with the No Tar Sands Oil network group on a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Chair Edward Markey in preparation for their September 2010 trip to Canada. The letter thanks them for their efforts to transition the United States to a clean energy future. It also highlights the importance of stopping the Keystone XL pipeline so as to stop America's increasing addiction to the world's dirtiest oil... so that a clean, just, energy future can be possible.

Governments cool to Mackenzie guidance

Territorial and federal governments have agreed with fewer than a dozen of almost 200 recommendations made by a panel supporting a proposed Mackenzie Arctic pipeline, according to a new report.

The Northwest Territories and Ottawa said Tuesday they agreed with 10 of 115 recommendations made by the joint review panel directly linked with the governments to mitigate social and environmental impacts of the $16.2-billion natural gas project.

The governments rejected outright 28 out of a total 176 recommendations the joint review panel deemed critical to the sustainability of the project.... Read more »

Mackenzie pipeline report gets red light from feds

The controversy surrounding the regulatory process of the Mackenzie gas pipeline continues after Ottawa rejected most of the recommendations in a report on the socio-environmental impact of the massive project.

After half a decade of work, the government-appointed panel issued 176 recommendations, 115 of which were directed at the federal and Northwest Territories government.

Ottawa has accepted 10, accepted the intent of another 77 and refused to accept the balance of the recommendations aimed at government.

Additional Excerpt:

Environmentalists were furious.

“Years of research, public hearings, studies and community engagement is being thrown in the wind,” said Sheila Muxlow, the Sierra Club’s director for the Prairies.

“This is an insult to the effort and expertise that went into the joint review panel over the past five years.”


Environmentalists upset governments reject almost all northern pipeline advice

Environmentalists are angry that Ottawa and the Northwest Territories have rejected almost all the advice in a lengthy and expensive report on the proposed Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline.

The Sierra Club says the decision from the two governments to accept only 10 out of 176 recommendations is an insult to those who worked on the report.

Additional Excerpt:

“Years of research, public hearings, studies and community engagement are being thrown in the wind,” Sheila Muxlow, director of the Sierra Club's Prairie chapter, said in a release Tuesday. “This is an insult to the effort and expertise that went into the Joint Review Panel over the past five years."... Read more »

Mackenzie pipeline in public good: proponents

Proponents of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline gave their final pitches on Monday to the National Energy Board, which must decide whether to approve the $16.2-billion proposed natural gas project in the Northwest Territories.

The NEB, an independent federal agency that regulates part of Canada's energy sector, is hearing final arguments on the pipeline proposal this week in Yellowknife. The board will also hold hearings next week in Inuvik, N.W.T.

Additional Excerpt:

The Sierra Club of Canada wants strict conditions on the natural gas that would flow through the pipeline — specifically on how that gas would be used after it connects with other gas networks in northern Alberta.... Read more »

Northern Gas Should Not Fuel Dirty Tar Sands!

Action Deadline: 
Fri, 2010-04-16 (All day)

The National Energy Board has an opportunity to get serious about sustainability of ecosystems and communities in the Mackenzie Valley as it considers a possible licence for the Mackenzie Gas Project in hearings this week.

Sierra Club Canada is asking that you email the National Energy Board and Environment Minister Jim Prentice TODAY!

Background Contents

1. Background Information

2. Recommendations

3. Cumulative Effects

4. Wildlife and Protected Areas

5. What’s next?

6. Acknowledgements

Background Information

Sierra Club Canada is pleased that so many of our interventions in the hearings for the Mackenzie Gas Project are reflected in the 176 recommendations of the Joint Review Panel for this $16 billion project. Most notably, the Panel has recommended that natural gas from Northern Canada not be used to fuel further tar sands development in Alberta and Saskatchewan.... Read more »

Ottawa revises rules of environmental review regime

The Harper government is rewriting the rules of environmental assessments, handing the Environment Ministry the power to minimize reviews of projects from open-pit mines to municipal construction along with other changes that critics claim will “gut” the environmental review process.

Suggestions of change to the environmental review regime were contained in the March federal budget, but the extent of the changes came to light with the release of the bill that implements financial aspects of the government’s new economic measures. Placing the reforms inside a budget bill forces the opposition parties to either accept them or bring down the minority government.

Additional Excerpt:

Now, with the federal government stepping aside from many assessments, a larger number will be left in provincial hands.... Read more »

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