‘Stacking The Deck…’

The federal Liberal Cabinet is attempting to sidestep the National Energy Board on the ‘Trans Mountain’ pipeline expansion by setting up a stacked, politicized second panel to give the Liberals – and aboriginal leadership — the answers that they want to hear:

“An apparent ‘distrust’ of the National Energy Board panel in charge of the ‘Trans Mountain’ pipeline expansion has prompted the federal Liberal government to strike a second, parallel three-person panel as a ‘counter balance’.

“The new panel was announced on Tuesday, May 17, just three days before the NEB is scheduled to make its recommendations {“The National Energy Board has been reviewing the Trans Mountain expansion for nearly three years”} on the $7-billion twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline by Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE:KMI).

“The new panel includes former Tsawwassen ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 286 people} chief Kim Baird, former Yukon {NDP} Premier Tony Penikett {His wife is a member of the ‘White River ‘First Nation’, an ‘nation’ of 141 people}, and Annette Trimbee, a former deputy minister for the Government of Alberta.

{“Dr. Annette Trimbee assumed the role of President and Vice-Chancellor at The University of Winnipeg {home of aboriginal race politics} on August 1, 2014. UWinnipeg is located in downtown Winnipeg, on ‘Treaty One’ territory in the heart of the Métis ‘Nation’ {?}.” http://uwinnipeg.ca/president/index.html }

“The panel is not meant to replace the NEB panel and its recommendations {Since none of them have any technical expertise whatsoever, one would hope not…}, but to ‘complement them’, according to a government news release… {That, of course, is so ridiculous that it beggars belief. This is more like watching a university student council than a national government…}

“The new panel is intended as an ad hoc measure until those reforms (the NEB and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s review processes) are fully in place, Jonathan Wilkinson, Liberal MP for North Vancouver, told ‘Business in Vancouver’.

“In the interim, there are a number of ‘principles’ by which we will be looking to ensure that projects already going forward are going to be guided by those (principles)”, he said.

“Those principles include ensuring that both ‘First Nations’ and communities along the pipeline corridor have been ‘adequately consulted’.

Kinder Morgan Burnaby protest (DARRYL DYCK - THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Kinder Morgan Burnaby protest (DARRYL DYCK – THE CANADIAN PRESS)

“Wilkinson added that the panel will also be tasked with ensuring that upstream greenhouse gases emissions are properly weighed as part of environmental considerations.

“The panel is not going to come back with a formal recommendation about whether the process should go ahead”, Wilkinson said. “It’s going to come back and tell the minister that this is what we heard from communities and these are the specific concerns that need to be addressed.”

“The panel begins its consultation in June and will make its findings and recommendations to Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr by November 1.

“Stewart Muir, executive director for ‘Resource Works’ { http://www.resourceworks.com/ }, said he thinks the panel’s composition strikes a good balance {?}, and that the panel is the Liberal government’s way of putting its own stamp on things {!}, while getting projects across the finish line…{?}

“They’re doing it their way… It is potentially a definitional statement of how they’re going to ‘tweak’ the processes…”

–‘Second panel struck to review Trans Mountain pipeline’,
Nelson Bennett, Business In Vancouver, May 17, 2016

https://www.biv.com/article/2016/5/second-panel-struck-review-trans-mountain-pipeline/ TransMountainPipelineMap
“The new, three-member panel will look into the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipelines.

“The company wants to add a second pipeline alongside the original that was built in 1953 to carry oil from Edmonton to Burnaby. If approved, the twin lines would carry nearly 900,000 barrels of crude a day, starting in 2018.

“The members announced by Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr on Tuesday are:

–Annette Trimbee, the president of the University of Winnipeg and a former deputy finance minister in Alberta. She served on Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s royalty review panel last year.

–Tony Penikett, the former premier of Yukon and the author of “Reconciliation: ‘First Nations; Treaty Making in British Columbia”.

–Kim Baird, former elected chief of B.C.’s Tsawwassen ‘First Nation’, who now runs her own consulting firm specializing in ‘indigenous’ policy, governance and development issues…

“This additional federal environmental assessment was announced by the Liberal government back in January. It will follow a’ different mandate’ than the NEB review and is intended, the Liberals say, to restore ‘public trust and confidence’ in Canada’s environmental assessment processes…” {It’s accomplishing exactly the opposite…}

–‘Trudeau government names Trans Mountain environmental review panel’,
Chris Hall, CBC News, May 17, 2016

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trans-mountain-kinder-morgan-pipeline-review-panel-1.3585154 kinder-morgan-pipeline
“Energy board spokeswoman Tara O’Donovan said its review has been based on facts and science, fulfilling a legal mandate to decide whether Kinder Morgan’s application submitted in December 2013 is in the public interest…

“In addition to consulting ‘indigenous’ groups, the panel will also review online feedback on the project. And it will look at upstream ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions that are linked to the pipeline.

“Carr said the government wants to ‘restore public confidence’ in the process with the panel’s appointment.

“We {Liberals and aboriginals} haven’t had all kinds of confidence in regulatory processes in Canada on major energy projects so we want to ensure that Canadians who want to have their say, will have.”

“Conservatives insist Liberal delays are killing oil and gas investment and harming the Canadian economy. New Democrats are equally certain the Liberals are simply dressing up a fatally flawed environmental assessment process in order to approve the project.

“Rona Ambrose, the Conservative interim leader, said in question period that the energy board assessment involved more than 1,600 participants, including 35 ‘indigenous’ groups…”

–‘Board ruling looms for expanded Trans Mountain pipeline’,
Canadian Press, May 17, 2016


Chief Stewart Phillip leads the parade (Cornelia Naylor, Burnaby Now)
Chief Stewart Phillip leads the parade (Cornelia Naylor, Burnaby Now)

“Decisions will be based on science, ‘traditional knowledge’ of ‘indigenous peoples’ and other relevant evidence…”


“We’re pretty confident with the Canadian Constitution protecting our ‘indigenous’ rights.”

“The federal government’s newest plan to legitimize how pipelines are approved is already stirring up doubt among some ‘First Nations’.

“On Tuesday, Ottawa appointed a special three-person panel to conduct an environmental review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain proposal and “meaningfully consult” with ‘indigenous peoples’ along the pipeline route.

“But one ‘First Nation’ chief says that term means nothing to him.

“That’s their processing”, said Sundance Chief and Tsleil-Waututh member Rueben George. “Our consultation is called ‘nation-to-nation’.”

“He said he would not be surprised to see the pipeline approved, despite staunch opposition from his and other ‘indigenous’ communities on the basis of environmental and health concerns…

“George said his band is prepared to take the government to court if necessary.

“The problems that it’s going to cause is unacceptable”, said George, referring to a potential oil spill. “We can’t take the risk.”

“If completed, the pipeline expansion would twin an existing line and carry nearly 900,000 barrels of crude per day from Edmonton to the heart of B.C.’s heavily-populated Lower Mainland.

“But George doesn’t think it will come to that.

“We’re pretty confident with the Canadian Constitution protecting our ‘indigenous’ rights”, he said.”

–‘First Nation’ band has no faith in new Kinder Morgan review panel’,
Tricia Lo, CBC News, May 17, 2016

See also:



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