Questions and Answers
As a result of this Act, the Joint Review Panel Agreement was amended [Filing A44689]. A copy of the revised Agreement is available on the Panel’s website at: www.gatewaypanel.review.gc.ca. The decision on whether or not the Project is approved will now be made by the Governor-in-Council.
Q: Will the new Act affect the independence of the Panel?
A: No. The Panel remains independent from government, industry and individuals or groups. The Panel will continue its independent, science-based and transparent environmental assessment and regulatory review process for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.
Q: Why should I continue to participate in this review process?
A: This is your opportunity to provide input to the Panel on whether or not you believe the Project should proceed and under what terms and conditions.
Q: What is the role of the Joint Review Panel?
A: The Panel must submit a report to the Governor in Council that includes a recommendation on whether or not the Project should proceed.
The Panel’s report must include terms and conditions that the National Energy Board would impose on the project, should the government decide to approve it. Conditions are an important tool used to protect the public and the environment through the life of the Project, should the Project proceed.
Q: Can the Governor in Council change the conditions put forward by the Panel?
A: The Governor in Council cannot change the terms and conditions put forward by the Panel. It may, however, order the Board to reconsider any of the terms and conditions taking into account any factor specified in the order.
Q: How will this Act affect the reports produced by the Panel?
A: Previously, the Panel was required to produce two separate reports: an Environmental Assessment Report, and a Reasons for Decision document. Under the new legislation, the Panel will produce one report that contains all the information that would have been included in the Environmental Assessment Report and Reasons for Decision. This report will include the Panel’s conclusions relating to the environmental assessment of the Project, recommendations regarding whether the Project should be approved and the reasons for the recommendation.
The Report will also include terms and conditions that the applicant must implement if the Project is approved.
Q: Does the Act change the timelines for the joint review process?
A: No. The Panel has previously communicated that it would complete and submit its report by 31 December 2013. This aligns with the Joint Review Panel completion timeline recently announced by the Minister of the Environment and the Chair of the National Energy Board.