Friday, September 21, 2018
It's a Start - Maybe
The Trudeau government has directed the (still sketchy) National Energy Board to examine the impacts of dilbit supertankers on British Columbia's south coast. The NEB has been given 22 weeks to report back to Ottawa.
There is plenty of reason for skepticism. For starters, the Trudeau government was caught red handed rigging the earlier process, that was ultimately quashed by the Federal Court of Appeal. Senior officials of government departments that were supposed to evaluate the project were gathered in a room and told their assessments had to support the TransMountain pipeline. Gee, that's a confidence-builder, eh?
And let's remember we're not dealing with a gaggle of government departments this time around. This is the Harper/Trudeau National Energy Board, Canada's crown jewel of regulatory capture.
Show me anything the government can study in 22-weeks. This is a government that, years on, still can't figure out how to pay its public servants.
The National Energy Board is now being entrusted with evaluating a difficult issue they refused to consider the first time around. They're going to need research and, wait for it, evidence. They can't rely on the testimony they rejected the first time because they refused to hear it. So what evidence will they consider and just who will be given a chance to refute it? Remember, just 22 weeks.
Without full and fair hearings this NEB report will be a pre-ordained farce, a smokescreen for a government determined to have its way and bugger the consequences.