Professor Nigel Bankes, Professor of Law at the University of Calgary has penned a blog post describing the relationship between joint review panels (JRP) and the government, using the Northern Gateway Pipeline JRP as an example.
His post was prompted by a January 9, 2012 news release by the Honourable Joe Oliver, federal Minister of Natural Resources, who, among other statements, indicated that the current regulatory process is “broken”, due to the actions of “environmental and other radical groups”. The public hearings for the Northern Gateway Pipeline JRP opened on January 10th.
Professor Bankes details how the project can be rejected or approved by the JRP, the responsible authorities, and the government, under the National Energy Board Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
Soberly, he tried to “imagine the challenge facing [the Northern Gateway Pipeline] panel in convincing the community that the fix was not already in and that the job of the panel was to conduct a careful, independent and impartial review of the project”.
You can read his entire post, ‘The Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel and the Governor in Council’ here.