Can the government be trusted to make the needed changes?
Ottawa, ON — As the National Energy Board (NEB) Modernization panel stops in Gatineau tomorrow, the federal government needs to put an immediate freeze on current pipeline proposals until impartial oversight is established. That’s the central message in a long list of concerns that Ecology Ottawa and the Council of Canadians will be presenting to the NEB Modernization panel.
“More than a decade of mistrust, conflict of interest and ignoring climate change has plagued the NEB, and we’ve got recent approvals of Trans Mountain, Line 3 and Keystone XL pipelines to show for it,” says Graham Saul, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. “It makes absolutely no sense for the NEB to be pushing forward with a review of the proposed Energy East pipeline while the federal government is reviewing how to fix the badly broken NEB.”
As a response to repeated criticism of the NEB, the federal government is in the process of conducting a multi-city consultation and review process dubbed the NEB Modernization process. However, three of the five panel members chosen for this task, Brenda Kenny, Gary Merasty and Hélène Lauzon, have close ties to the industry or pro-pipeline advocacy groups.
“This review process can’t be trusted if it is tarnished with members who embody the conflict of interest we are trying to eliminate,” says Daniel Cayley-Daoust, Energy and Climate Campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “If the public is to trust this process going forward, we need to re-build a regulatory body that is at arm’s length from industry interests, where the headquarters isn’t in Calgary, and where the NEB staff aren’t allowed to leave and go work as industry lobbyists.”
The Council of Canadians and Ecology Ottawa will highlight many concerns related the protection of land and water, Indigenous rights and climate change at the Ottawa NEB Modernization public session.
For more information or to arrange interviews:
Graham Saul, Ecology Ottawa, firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-710-2819