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NEWS: Northern Gateway environmental assessment could conclude this May

CBC reports, “In Thursday’s budget, the government announced a streamlining of environmental assessments so that major projects receive only one review lasting no longer than 24 months. The new, shortened deadlines would be applied retroactively to projects that are already being reviewed. …That could mean the Northern Gateway review would have to wrap up in May of this year. That is a full year-and-a-half before it was scheduled to end.”

“‘This incredibly stupid move on the part of the Harper government will only serve to expedite the battle in the courtrooms and on the land itself,’ said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. …This ‘pipeline is going to traverse the territories of literally dozens and dozens of First Nations. And all of them have said very clearly that they do not support the Northern Gateway project and that they will do everything that they can to stop this project,’ added Phillip.”

“Enbridge, the company proposing to build Northern Gateway, would be happy if the remaining 18 months in the Joint Review Panel (JRP) process were cut in half. ‘There is demand for both gas and oil in the far east. The clock is ticking, though, quite clearly. So I think there’s a need for the country to move forward here and to make best use of these opportunities while they exist,’ argues Enbridge spokesman, Paul Stanway.”

The full report is at http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/news/story/2012/03/30/pol-first-nations-northern-gateway-reaction.html.

More soon.