Pipelines, Fossil Fuels Face Huge Regulation Cuts in Canada

An investigation by Postmedia News has revealed that almost 3000 environmental assessments have been cancelled due to the Harper government’s budget cuts. That number includes 500 in British Columbia alone. Almost 700 were related to fossil fuels and almost 250 are related to pipeline projects. The cuts came into effect on July 6.

The assessments are meant to ensure that projects will not cause adverse effects to the environment surrounding the proposals.

Projects that no longer require assessments include a replacement generating station by BC Hydro, mixed-use development on Tsawwassen First Nation lands and road reconstruction along Ottawa’s Sussex Dr.

Gregory Jack, the Director, Operations for the Task Force on Energy, Security and Sustainability wrote in a presentation to the pan-European Oil Sands Working Group that the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline could be used to push for regulatory reform allowing “Canada to define its own interests.” He also described ENGOs as ideologically driven and opposed to the Gateway regulatory process simply because they are opposed to the oil sands in general.  The presentation was obtained by Climate Action Network Canada through Access to Information.

BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix has suggested that the provinces might pull out of the current federal review of the pipeline project and start their own review to assess the potential risks for the province. His party is currently leading in the polls with an election coming next spring.

The federal NDP is asking Peter Kent, the Minister of the Environment, to do public consultations to help draft new environmental regulations. The party’s Environment Critic, Megan Leslie, said it doesn’t make sense that this many projects would suddenly be just fine without any assessment.

A spokesperson for Environment Canada could not say whether the projects will face reviews by other agencies and called the projects ‘routine.’

This government has shown over and over again that environmental assessments are just more ‘red tape’ that they are trying to eliminate to appease big business.

 

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Photo Credit: Marine Photobank

50 comments

Vicky P.
Vicky P.3 years ago

Harper is the oil companies' best friend

Dr Clue
Dr Clue4 years ago

How dare one stand in the way of corporate conquest just to save some stupid planet. You can always get another planet , but a quarter's profits are irreplaceable

Patricia N.
Patricia N.4 years ago

Just saw the documentary "On The Line" by two young men who biked and hiked where the northern pipeline is planned to go through. Pristine wilderness and 773 waterways between start in Alberta and ending at B.C. coast. Imagine that horrible tar sands oil leaking into that beautiful wilderness and clean water and hundreds of supertankers going up a treacherous coast and back with oil....hundreds a day so the oil gets overseas. Have these politicians gone mad? Watch it www.onthelinemovie.com and www.pacificwild.org

Huber F.
Huber F.4 years ago

Drain the oil while you can..

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch4 years ago

Sadly, the animals and the environment will always lose when put against corporate greed.

Antiope K.
Antiope K.4 years ago

No comment.................this photo says everything........:-((

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright4 years ago

This will be devastating and yet no one seems to care; at least not anyone who is willing to listen to the cries of descent humans who don't want the drilling and tar sands and the cries of the animals who will be maimed and killed when the next disaster happens.....and IT WILL happen unless we can stop this madness.

I fear for our futures.......

june t.
june t.4 years ago

sad...

Grace Adams
Grace Adams4 years ago

Why can't they--first drill the tar sands out so they don't have to bulldoze all the trees to get to the tar sands? --second put a mini-refinery right next to the drill pad to refine the oil right there and if at all possible, use the petroleum products locally? I wouldn't trust all that scratchy sand and all the acid in tar sands and stuff so thick and sticky that it has to be almost boiling hot to melt it enough to push it through a pipe in any pipeline. I wouldn't trust anything that the owner of a local vehicle wouldn't trust as fuel in the fuel tank of his diesel power vehicle in any pipeline.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams4 years ago

Why can't they--first drill the tar sands out so they don't have to bulldoze all the trees to get to the tar sands? --second put a mini-refinery right next to the drill pad to refine the oil right there and if at all possible, use the petroleum products locally? I wouldn't trust all that scratchy sand and all the acid in tar sands and stuff so thick and sticky that it has to be almost boiling hot to melt it enough to push it through a pipe in any pipeline. I wouldn't trust anything that the owner of a local vehicle wouldn't trust as fuel in the fuel tank of his diesel power vehicle in any pipeline.