Late last year, the National Energy Board (NEB) released its decision on the Northern Gateway Project and recommended approval of the project subject to 209 conditions (see here for our summary of that decision). While the NEB conducted the public hearing and issued a decision, the final decision to approve or not approve the project rested with the federal Cabinet. On June 17th, Cabinet announced that it has accepted the NEB decision in its entirety (see here).
With Cabinet approval secured, the NEB will now proceed to issue certificates of public convenience and necessity under section 52 of the National Energy Board Act. Issuance of the certificates of public convenience and necessity is merely one step toward full approval of the project. Cabinet’s press release indicates that Enbridge is still required to acquire other permits and approvals. These may be federal (for example, approvals under the Fisheries Act) or provincial (both Alberta and British Columbia). As well, according to the press release, Enbridge is still required to consult with affected communities and aboriginal peoples. And, of course, many of the 209 conditions must be met by Enbridge before the project can proceed.
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