Report did not reflect citizen input

Writer says absurdity of Northern Gateway Project leader's comments match farcical tone of report itself.

Dear Sir:

Janet Holder, leader of the Northern Gateway Project said, “The Joint Review Panel conducted the most comprehensive and science-based pipeline review in Canadian history and their report reflects the input of thousands of Canadians.” The absurdity of her comments matches the farcical tone of the report itself.

Almost a thousand people made presentations at the JRP hearings, and only two spoke in favour of the project. The federal government’s response was to vilify the critics of the Northern Gateway pipeline and associated tanker traffic, calling them “eco-terrorists” and traitors who had “hi-jacked” the hearings. In addition, the Conservatives wasted millions of tax dollars witch hunting “foreign-funded” non-governmental organizations in a blatant attempt to cast a chill over their activities.

On the other hand, when the oil industry wanted changes to the Fisheries Act and the process of the JRP hearings, they simply met in private with the Conservatives and handed them their list of proposed changes.

For example, the rules were changed so that only people directly impacted by the proposed pipeline route could comment.

All the changes recommended by the oil industry were made, often using the identical wording the industrial lobbyists had suggested.

Nobody investigated oil industry lobbyists or right-wing think tanks.

What this report, and its entirely expected recommendation, reflect is the fact that Canada is rapidly becoming a petro-state, a corporatocracy in which the voice of the people is drowned out by the money and influence of the oil industry.

Who should determine what is in the “national interest” is the citizens of this country, not the corporate elite and their apologists in Conservative party.

Andrew Williams,

Terrace, B.C.

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