JRP releasing Northern Gateway recommendations this afternoon

Feds to make decision on project sometime in 2014.

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline should not be moving forward, said ForestEthics Advocacy in their newly-released report, Case Closed.

The Joint Review Panel’s recommendations on the project will be released this afternoon, in Calgary.

The ForestEthics report summarizes evidence heard at the JRP hearings and discusses Enbridge’s failure to prove benefits and address the negative environmental impact through the process, said ForestEthics Advocacy senior energy campaigner Nikki Skuce.

“We hope that the JRP will conclude, as most participants in the process did, that Enbridge Northern Gateway is not in Canada’s national interest and must be rejected,” Skuce said.

“Overwhelmingly in the process, Enbridge proved that their project would be a disaster for the environment and existing economies, that they do not have the competence to build it safely, and that they have no social license to operate in Northern B.C.”

According to their website, ForestEthics Advocacy Association’s mission is to, “conserve and protect the natural environments of Canada while allowing for their sustainable use.”

During the JRP hearings, held over 18 months ending in June 2013, more than 1,200 people made oral statements and more than 220 intervenors registered in the process to submit their own evidence and question the project.

Additionally, about 9,000 individuals and groups submitted letters of comment to the panel.

Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson, who addressed the JRP as an intervenor, said the fact the announcement will be made in Alberta and not in B.C. shows the process is titled toward business interests, not the will of the people.

“The process has certainly had a lot of flaws,” Donaldson said.

“I think it’s a slap in the face, for sure, that they’re announcing it in Calgary. It shows that the whole JRP process is more accommodating to business interests and where business is centred rather than people’s concerns over the project.”

Donaldson said he expects First Nations and other organizations to launch legal appeals if the JRP decision is contrary to what he said was overwhelming evidence against the project.

The JRP will make recommendations on the project to the federal government, who has the final say on whether or not the pipeline will go ahead.

The Conservative government has said they will make a final decision on the pipeline sometime in 2014.

The proposed $6.5 billion Northern Gateway twin pipeline will transport diluted bitumen 1,200 kilometres from northern Alberta through northern B.C. to Kitimat. The larger, westbound pipeline will carry up to 525,000 barrels of oil per day.

Enbridge Northern Gateway CEO Janet Holder was unavailable for comment before Monday’s press deadline.