Restoring oversight. Meaningful participation. Rebuilding trust.
Such phrases sounded just so good when the federal Liberal Party first detailed its plan to address the environmental assessment and consultation process for major projects like interprovincial pipelines and LNG export terminals.
But such rhetoric may already be critically undermined thanks to way the government has approached public consultations in its environmental review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which would almost triple the Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline’s capacity to 890,000 barrels/day.
Such missteps include but are certainly not limited to: appointing a former LNG lobbyist and partner with Kinder Morgan to sit on the panel, providing inadequate notice to the public and First Nations of the actual hearings, and failing to mandate that the consultations actually have any bearing on the final decision by cabinet.