The three federal ministries lumped under ‘Government of Canada”’(DFO, Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada) conveyed a very desolate impression of the role of the Government of Canada at the Enbridge/Northern Gateway hearings this week in Prince George.
The mostly junior bureaucrats appeared scared and hesitant while most intent to communicate the limitations of their mandate.
Asked by a representative of UFAWU if DFO had conducted an analysis of the effects of a spill on the commercial fishery, the answer was unequivocal: “the Department has not conducted such analysis”.
Who can comprehend that the Department concluded they were satisfied with the risk analysis conducted by Enbridge? As for Environment Canada, their representative stated squarely“ EC did not review the proponent’s materials related to spills”.
The Government of Canada is clearly showing that they have given up on their mandate while leaving it to Enbridge to look after us.
In the case of an inland spill, the National Energy Board (NEB) will be in charge and the Environment Canada spill response based in Montreal will be assisting the NEB if asked to do so.
Does that make you feel assured that the inevitable spills into our precious rivers will be adequately handled? I confess, this handing over of the keys of the chicken coop to the fox gives me this aboding feeling of dread….