In Montreal this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left the impression he’s not going to take a new look at the now permit-less Northern Gateway pipeline, likely putting the project on the backburner for as long as he’s in power.
It’s what the Federal Court of Appeal asked his cabinet to do in last week’s 153-page decision as a way to remedy “inadequate” consultation by the Crown with impacted aboriginal communities.
Meanwhile, the court took the draconian step of quashing the project’s permits, granted by the previous Conservative government after years of regulatory hearings, planning, consultations, and more than half a billion in spending by proponent Enbridge Inc. and its partners.
Trudeau re-iterated what he said during the election campaign: “On the Northern Gateway pipeline, I’ve said many times, the Great Bear Rainforest is no place for a crude oil pipeline.”
Who knew that protection of the Great Bear Rainforest would emerge as the politically expedient reason to kill Northern Gateway? When Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. started planning the project 18 years ago, struggling West Coast communities were looking for jobs and economic activity.
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