Thursday, November 18, 2010

Governments Reject a Sustainable Approach for the Mackenzie Gas Project


This week, the Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories released their final response to the environmental assessment of the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project.

Nature Canada is gravely concerned that, despite claiming they have accepted most of the recommendations, the Governments have accepted only 11 of the 115 recommendations to government from the Joint Review Panel that studied the environmental impacts of the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project.

The governments' response plainly dismisses the principles of sustainable development by rejecting recommendations on the grounds that they would constrain development. The governments’ refusal to commit to implementing all of the Panel’s recommendations creates the unsustainable conditions that the Panel warned about in an October 4 letter. “The Panel has concluded that, in the absence of implementation of its Recommendations, and in particular those Recommendations directed to the Governments, the adverse impacts of the Project could be significant and its contribution towards sustainability could be negative. In that event, the opportunity for the Project to provide a foundation for a sustainable northern future would be lost.”

Nature Canada is deeply concerned about the devastation that could be unleashed on important wildlife areas across the Northwest Territories as a result of the Government’s aggressive stance against the Panel recommendations. We are now studying the government response in more detail and will comment again soon. The National Energy Board is due to make a final decision on the project, likely before Christmas.

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