Energy and environment need separate reviews

It may surprise you to learn that the protection of fish habitats in pipeline corridors now only need permits from the National Energy Board (NEB), a federal regulatory tribunal with close ties to some of the largest multinational energy companies in the world.

Yet, as the result of a Conservative deal that created a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the NEB and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), this is the current state of environmental protections along pipeline corridors in Canada. The DFO is now consulted only if the NEB’s assessment deems it necessary to protect a species at risk or if it is deemd to potentially cause a serious harm to fish.

In essence, this decision has given large oil companies the power to decide whether an assessment is necessary, which would hold up construction and the ability for those same companies to make money, in pipeline regions. This is, at least, an inappropriate conflict of interest.

The mandate of the National Energy Board is to regulate the construction and operation of oil and gas pipelines. The Board is not specialized in, or properly equipped to, accurately analyze the impacts of construction on fish habitats. That is a responsibility that must be given back to the scientists and researchers of the DFO.

Please [click here] to send a message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, to encourage them to reverse this misguided decision. Tell them that Canada cannot hand over the protection of its vital waterways and environment to multinational corporations.

Protect our environment. Protect our economy. Protect Our Fish.