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Northern Gateway pipeline report draws lawsuit – British Columbia – CBC News

Northern Gateway pipeline report draws lawsuit – British Columbia – CBC News.

A coalition of B.C. environmentalists is worried about the pipeline's impact on the northern environment, and says the Joint Review Panel report recommending approval for the pipeline is flawed.A coalition of B.C. environmentalists is worried about the pipeline’s impact on the northern environment, and says the Joint Review Panel report recommending approval for the pipeline is flawed. (CBC)

A coalition of environment groups has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court alleging serious flaws with the Joint Review Panel’s final report that recommended the pipeline be approved because “Canadians will be better off with this project than without it.”

The group is seeking a court order to prevent the federal cabinet from acting on the panel’s report to approve the proposed pipeline.

Ecojustice lawyers representing ForestEthics Advocacy, the Living Oceans Society and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation allege the Joint Review Panel’s 419-page report contains legal errors and that its approval is based on insufficient evidence.

“The JRP did not have enough evidence to support its conclusion that the Northern Gateway pipeline would not have significant adverse effects on certain aspects of the environment,” said Ecojustice staff lawyer Karen Campbell, in a statement released on Friday.

“The panel made its recommendation despite known gaps in the evidence, particularly missing information about the risk of geohazards along the pipeline route and what happens to diluted bitumen when it is spilled in the marine environment.”

Serious flaws alleged

In its lawsuit, the environmental coalition says the panel concluded that diluted bitumen is unlikely to sink in an ocean environment even though it says a federal study released earlier this week suggests otherwise.

The lawyers say the review panel did not consider the federal recovery strategy for Pacific humpback whales, whose critical habitat overlaps with the proposed tanker route, or identify mitigation measures for caribou populations.

The lawsuit also alleges the panel refused to consider the environmental impacts of upstream oilsands development and permits Enbridge to assess landslide risks during instead of before construction.

Northern Gateway pipeline politicsPipeline construction is currently awaiting cabinet approval, which is expected sometime within the next six months. (CBC)

Ecojustice says the battle over Northern Gateway is about more than just one pipeline project. Campbell says it’s the epicentre of the debate over Canada’s energy future and Canada needs to get it right.

“There is simply too much at stake. Any decision about Northern Gateway must be based on the best available science. That’s why the panel’s incomplete and flawed report cannot stand as the final word on whether Northern Gateway is in the national interest,” says Campbell in the release.

A cabinet decision on whether to accept the panel’s recommendation and approve the pipeline is expected sometime in the next six months.

Under the new environmental assessment framework contained in the 2012 spring omnibus budget bill, cabinet has final decision-making power over Northern Gateway but is bound by the 209 conditions laid out in the Joint Review Panel report.

CSEC Sued: B.C. Civil Liberties Group Launches Suit Over Constitutional Rights

CSEC Sued: B.C. Civil Liberties Group Launches Suit Over Constitutional Rights. (source/link)

A civil liberties watchdog is suing Canada’s electronic spy agency for allegedly breaching the constitutional rights of Canadians.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association says Communications Security Establishment Canada violates the Charter of Rights by intercepting Canadians’ private communications.

The organization filed the lawsuit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Ottawa-based CSEC monitors foreign communications — from email and phone calls to faxes and satellite transmissions — for intelligence of interest to Canada.

CSEC says it operates within all Canadian laws, including the charter, the Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Privacy Act.

The National Security Agency, CSEC’s American counterpart, is at the centre of a storm of leaks from former contractor Edward Snowden that document the U.S. agency’s vast reach into cyberspace.

Read the entire statement of claim by the BCCLA:

 

Jeff Rubin: Boom Times Aren’t Coming Back, But That’s Not Necessarily Bad (Q&A)

Jeff Rubin: Boom Times Aren’t Coming Back, But That’s Not Necessarily Bad (Q&A). (FULL ARTICLE)

Key takeaways:

-We must prepare for a long period of harder times
-Canada will be a water superpower
-Oil sands won’t boom like the industry predicts
-Anti-Keystone movement has backfired

As recently as 13 years ago, a barrel of oil cost $20, or even less. Today, global crude prices are hovering around the $100 mark. We may be getting used to higher prices at the pump, but the world economy isn’t, says economist Jeff Rubin — and the result is a permanent shift down in economic growth.

Rubin was the chief economist at CIBC World Markets for close to two decades, but had to part ways with his employer when he started writing about how rising energy costs are going to put make our worlds a lot smaller.

Rubin’s argument is controversial: He says we aren’t so much in the midst of a sluggish recovery as we are in the middle of a new reality — one where we will have to get used to a lower standard of living.

Rubin’s latest book, The End of Growth, recently came out in an updated paperback edition. HuffPost Canada talked to him about what it will mean to live in a world of high energy prices, his reasons for believing Canada will become a “water superpower,” and why the end of growth might not necessarily be a bad thing.

What do you mean when you talk about the end of growth?…

 

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