Budget bill gives Cabinet veto in pipeline, oil sands projects, say critics

Publication Source: The Hill Times
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Author: Tim Naumetz

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.) told The Hill Times she believes the section in Bill C-38, the Budget Implementation Bill, which extends Cabinet control over NEB decision on pipelines to allow Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) and his Cabinet to overrule NEB rejections of pipeline projects that have been based on environmental reasons, is aimed at investors in China who may be getting cold feet because of widespread opposition in northern British Columbia and the province’s coastline.

certainty the National Energy Board will approve the pipeline [because] that’s been what the National Energy Board traditionally does,” Ms. May said. “The purpose of this is not just to ensure that the project goes ahead, but to ensure that the Chinese backers of the project don’t have any fear of democracy actually working, and that the project might be stopped by an independent regulatory board.”

Ms. May argued the NEB has always had the capacity to overrule findings by any of the review panels it establishes for projects such as the Northern Gateway project, but the bill will assure investors that regardless of what happens, the Harper government will have the power to override any decision.

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