To quote the opening paragraph:
The National Energy Board and Department of Fisheries and Oceans have entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding regarding fish and fish habitat. Through this Memorandum Of Understanding, the National Energy Board will now be responsible for assessing potential impacts to fisheries from proposed National Energy Board regulated pipeline and power line applications.
I can’t really believe this. NEB’s mandate is to assess the competitiveness, equitability, regulatory nature of interprovincial projects; that being said, it’s mandate is also to promote environmental protection –but note this part of its mandate is in the same sentence of “efficient energy infrastructure.” Shouldn’t the environmental impact of a project be left to the experts (e.g marine biologists, fisheries experts) whose mandate is to protect fisheries and marine wildlife alone?
What confidence do we have that the NEB is outside of direct influence from the executive branch? Is the Dept of Fisheries more independent than the NEB? On a highly charged project like the Northern Gateway, of which Mr Harper has publicly stated his support, I wonder whether it would make much difference which of the departments or NEB had jurisdiction.
Is the dept of Fisheries any less of a fox when it comes to this particular henhouse?
Fair point Elliot. Is this simply the dropping of a facade? At least the facade left me hopeful of an easier road back…