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.


Rural said...

"Show me anything the government can study in 22-weeks. " If you ask for the impassible ........ !

Owen Gray said...

We'll see. If it doesn't pass muster, the court will once again step in.

the salamander said...

.. tell me I am wrong..

The government premise, as was the previous federal government and the aBC government and the Alberta government and a plethora of supposed experts, public servants.. are telling Canadians (who will pay all the costs) in a variety of vague bit similar ways, that we are holding back - Nation Building - Jobs Jobs Jobs - The Economy - Royalties - And one assumes The will of the People - and The Vast Wealth of Asian Exports of Dilbit !

Its a litany repeated endlessly by - Stephen Harper, Joe Oliver, Jason Kenney, Justin Trudeau, Ministers a la McKenna too numerous to list plus the vaunted charity The Fraser Institute. We don't get to see a pie chart or cost/minus list.. we're just expected to buy the dream and pay for it.. because.. that's right.. because.. Its kind of like Site C - you know, where the math does not get presented via government.. its scraped out by diligent indy bloggers only. One of those deals where we pay more to extract or collect the resource or energy than we get back on the back end.

Itall reminds me of organised religion.. the parting of the red sea, the virgin birth, the rapture.. and the 'holy' bible that was scribbled by monks until the printing press came along. We must suspend disbelief, vote for them, them or maybe them.. because they care more about wounded vets, The Economy, or are Pro Life, or are diligent doller managers, or care about polar bears.. If they're climate change deniers, they have a more comfortable description of their fallacies.. like its still cold in winter, right? Or the world is but 5,000 years old, so give it time !

Are any of these people serious ?

Lulymay said...


As to your last question... the simplest answer is a straight "NO!"

The Mound of Sound said...

The government's problem is that, having been caught red-handed manipulating its previous "review" of TransMountain, there is no reason to give it the benefit of the doubt that this review will be any better.

The NEB inquiry is a quasi-judicial proceeding which ordinary triggers the "audi alteram partem" rule. It is under a duty to give fair hearing to both sides or, in this case, all sides.

The farce that the NEB conducted before was rigged. It was not a fair hearing. Even Trudeau admitted as much when he performed his own, also rigged, review after taking office.

How will the NEB now get the evidence it refused to accept before on the very issues it is now charged to examine and report upon in just 22 weeks?

The Mound of Sound said...

Notley is now harping "22 weeks and not a minute more." Unfortunately this is one of those measures that invites judicial review, especially if, as we're told, there'll be no new evidence permitted. The Harper/Trudeau NEB was consistent in refusing to admit evidence or arguments about the tanker issue. They maintained that their mandate ended at "tidewater." For them now to expand that mandate to consider the marine ecology based on their deliberately truncated information makes the process farcical. Yet Trudeau's entirely arbitrary 22 week time limit seems intended to ensure there'll be no fair hearing of these issues.

Deacon Jester said...

It's not arbitrary at all. It lets Alberta get the decision Hardeau has ordered just in time for an election campaign.

Northern PoV said...

How can it be considered 'consultation' if the end result (and the timeline to achieve it) is already predetermined.

Alas, even the language of the court decision seems to support this charade.

Danneau said...

I was considering weighing in on this, but see no need given what's here. I did have a look at the make-up of the NEB and it doesn't inspire confidence.

It's sorta like electoral reform, still on the to-do list of things not to do.

The Mound of Sound said...

I agree, Danneau. It's no confidence-builder, is it?