In recent days, there has been extensive media coverage on the rejection of the Northern Gateway Project by the B.C. government. What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that the Northern Gateway Project will not proceed?
Let’s step back and take a look at the ongoing process considering the Northern Gateway Project (the “Project”). We provided an explanation of the Joint Review Panel process in our April 2012 issue of Newsbrief. The Project hearing is being conducted by the National Energy Board (the “NEB”) and is a combination of several distinct processes. First, the NEB is considering an application under the National Energy Board Act for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Secondly, the NEB has been appointed as a Joint Review Panel under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the “CEAA”). Finally, the government is relying upon the consultation effort of the proponent and the Joint Review Panel to discharge its duty to consult with Aboriginal groups.
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