Toronto, ON – We commend the federal government for moving ahead with modernizing the National Energy Board (NEB). The existing process for reviewing major energy projects like pipelines is deeply flawed, and does not have the confidence of Canadians. The review of the NEB is welcome, and it again underscores the inadequacy of the existing process and the need for the projects currently under review – the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion and the TransCanada Energy East Pipeline – to be put on hold until this modernization is completed.

For the NEB reform to be substantive, the result must be a review process that truly consults and accommodates First Nations, that looks at all the environmental impacts of proposed projects and assesses whether projects fit Canada’s climate change and other environment commitments, and that evaluates the need for projects based on a low-carbon energy outlook – where the world lives up to the commitments in the Paris Agreement.

The new review process must be one that has a reasonable chance of concluding that some projects are not in the national interest, and should not go forward. It is troubling that the federal government’s press release on the NEB’s modernization begins with a reference to “Developing our resources and getting them to market.” It’s time to acknowledge that in a low-carbon, clean economic future, where the world limits warming to 1.5 degrees as promised in Paris, there will be a diminishing market for Canada’s fossil fuel resources and that sinking billions of dollars into new infrastructure may be a bad decision economically, as well as environmentally.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 247; 416-356-2587 (cell); abraude@environmentaldefence.ca