Letters: Eco-radicals propel rage through environmental assessments

Dear Editor,

The eco-radical anti-oil protesters are clinging to the National Energy Boards (NEB) Environmental Assessments (EA) review process to propel their rage. 

It is the focus of their Prime Minister Harper-bashing mantra. Bill C-38 has reduced their self-righteous ability to bully and stop resource development, which makes them furious.  

Also, there has been unjustified whining from overbearing eco-bureaucrats and eco-zealot groups who lost power/control or subsidized funding (under the guise of scientists being muzzled). 

Bill C-38, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012, reformed and rationalized the EA process to be more efficient. This meant amending clauses and sub-clauses in a lot of different enactments, which required a catch-all procedure. Thus Bill C-38 was dubbed an omnibus bill.

Before this, the EAs were vague and full of loopholes which the environmentalists, as interveners, could use to grandstand, filibuster, and stall projects.

Many of us complained to the government to wise up and get our act together, as it was embarrassing. It appears they listened, but may not have gone far enough. 

For example, the EA for the Northern Gateway Pipeline (NGP) included wide-open hearings without any rules, entertaining a charade of some 4,500 interveners, which made Canada look silly.

There cant be 4,500 different types of realistic concerns where every radical-eco group that is anti-oil, anti-industry, and anti-human-progress of every kind can use EAs as a platform to hijack/delay projects. 

One activist group alone, tax-exempt Dogwood Initiative (offshoot of Tides Canada, offshoot of Tides USA), submitted some 1,500 intervener applications. 

Even a radical teacher registered her classroom of grade school students to be heard at the EA hearings. 

The NGPipeline proposal has been in the works for over 10 years. EA hearings alone went on for some four years, and it was eventually approved by the NEB, subject to 209 conditions. 

It’s unrealistic to think you can attract investment in Canada when you can’t get your act together and projects get stalled for years, as world economic financial conditions can change more than once in a 10-year span.

Eco-protesters appear insatiable, incapable of ever being satisfied, and will always have to obsessively protest something or other.

We can’t build a jobs economy around a core of eco-radical protests; it has to be based on real-world finance and markets. 

Roland Seguin, Langley

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