TORONTO, Jan. 27, 2016 /CNW/ - "Ontario is pleased with the Federal Government's announcement of new principles and consultation processes related to decision-making on interprovincial pipelines. The responsibility for reviewing interprovincial pipeline projects lies completely within federal jurisdiction and is the purview of the National Energy Board (NEB).
Today's announcement will help to repair changes made by the previous federal government, which limited the voice of communities in NEB hearings. Ontario agrees with our federal partner that all aspects of proposed pipeline projects, including impacts on our climate and natural environment must be considered, and enhanced mitigation measures must be a priority.
For generations, Canada's vast natural resources have helped grow our national economy; across the country Canadians also recognize our shared obligation to future generations. Economic prosperity and environmental sustainability are fundamentally linked, and we must ensure that we develop our energy resources in a smart, sustainable and ecologically responsible manner.
This is precisely why Ontario took action in 2013 and tasked the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) with giving a voice to the public, First Nation and Metis communities and safety experts on the impacts of the proposed Energy East project to Ontario's economy and natural environment. Across 18 months and more than a dozen communities, hundreds of Ontarians participated in meaningful consultations and open dialogue. Last summer the OEB delivered its final report to the government. This report will inform our position as an intervenor in this renewed federal regulatory process and ensure that the best interests of Ontarians are protected – including our safety, environment, jobs and the economy.
Canadians have been clear – all levels of government must take the time to hear from experts, community and municipal leaders, aboriginal groups, business leaders and other impacted groups to ensure that all voices can be heard during the regulatory process.
With the steps announced today, the environment and the economy have a much better chance of being appropriately harmonized."
Ontario's Pipeline Principles:
- Pipelines must meet the highest available technical standards for public safety and environmental protection;
- Pipelines must have the world leading contingency planning and emergency response programs;
- Proponents and governments must fulfill their duty to consult obligations with Aboriginal communities;
- Local communities must be consulted;
- Projects should provide demonstrable economic benefits and opportunities to the people of Ontario, over both the short and long term; and
- Economic and environmental risks and responsibilities, including remediation should be borne exclusively by the pipeline companies, who must also provide financial guarantees demonstrating their capability to respond to leaks and spills.
Link to OEB's Final Report:
Disponible en français
SOURCE Ontario Ministry of Energy
For further information: Dan Moulton, Minister's Office, 416-327-3551; Aslan Hart, Communications, 416-326-4542