ORA has fully participated in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Process review and was very hopeful with this government’s promise to “rebuild public trust, protect the environment, advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and ensure good projects get built…” While there are some encouraging components, such as requiring the Minister and Cabinet to provide reasons for environmental approvals and creating a single agency to conduct assessments, it is extremely disappointing that the proposed Impact Assessment Act (IAA) further undermines credibility and trust as well as its ability to protect the environment. It is a very flawed process when after going through years of application review and examination of science-based evidence, that the Minister could make a purely political decision and prioritize economic considerations over meeting climate commitments – as it is doing now with the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
In September of 2016, the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) received a Feed-in-Tariff Power Procurement Contract from the IESO to sell power to the grid. In June 2017, the GRCA initiated a Class Environmental Assessment to evaluate the construction of a waterpower project, the Parkhill Hydro Generating Station located at the existing Parkhill Dam in the City of Cambridge. If approved and constructed, this waterpower project would have a nameplate capacity of 500 kW. The project is subject to the provisions of the Ontario Waterpower Association “Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower Projects.” Pursuant to the Class EA, this project is considered to be associated with existing infrastructure. Continue reading
ORA would like to point out that the proposed list does not address an in-water pipeline scenario, it only addresses pipelines above, below and under a water body. Therefore, it is extremely important that the following be added:
The American Eel Needs Your Help! You have an opportunity to support the recovery of a species that has declined by 99% of its original population, has been completely extirpated from extensive areas of its native Ontario range, and is in steep decline where it still exists. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has prepared a Draft Government Response Station for the Recovery of the American Eel in Ontario, and you have until January 11th to sign the Petition below. More information can be found here. To add your own comments just click on the letter and type. Thank you for your help! Continue reading
MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release: 6 October 2017
Ontario Rivers Alliance on the termination of the Energy East Pipeline
SUDBURY – The Ontario Rivers Alliance says that TransCanada Corp. (TC) cancelled its controversial $15.7-billion Energy East Pipeline proposal because “It saw the writing on the wall.” It proposed to convert its 3,000 km natural gas pipeline and construct another 1,500 km of new pipeline, to carry 1.1 million barrels per day of dirty Tar Sands oil from Alberta to New Brunswick.
“TC’s decision was likely due in large part to a continuing decline in the demand for crude oil in a world on a fast-track to decarbonize.” The scientific evidence is clear, that climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time. “So, the National Energy Board’s recent ruling to consider the potential increase in upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the project was no surprise, but an impossible hurdle to overcome, and likely the final nail in the coffin.” Continue reading
The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is a registered Intervenor in the review of the Energy East Project and Asset Transfer. ORA is writing in response to the National Energy Board’s (NEB) request for input on the Draft List of Issues (List) and Draft Factors and Scope (Scope) on the Application for the Energy East Project and Asset Transfer (Project).
ORA makes the following recommendations for your consideration:
The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is requesting that the National Energy Board (NEB) significantly increase the amount of funding available to participating intervenors in the Energy East Pipeline review.
Access to adequate levels of intervenor funding is essential to hire high quality independent expert and legal assistance to help inform our project review and allow for meaningful participation in the hearing process.
The NEB has proven to be an industry friendly structure aiming to support and promote energy markets for the oil and gas and pipeline industry – yet the NEB is also charged with regulating, approving, monitoring and enforcing compliance of this same industry. ORA submits that this is a conflict of interest, and raises real questions about the independence and objectivity of the NEB, and just how well the environment and public safety is being protected. The federal government’s reliance upon tax revenues and the need for job creation from the energy industry has led to a significant lack of environmental rigor in its decision making.
The recent NEB ruling of reasonable apprehension of bias in favor of TransCanada, came as a result of the NEB panel’s inappropriate conduct in relation to their meeting with Jean Charest while he was acting as an advisor to TransCanada. This conduct only came to light through a Freedom of Information Application. Confidence in energy projects can only come when we have an open, transparent and accountable government. Continue reading
ORA supports the Panel’s broad strokes Vision in general, and applauds it for the recommendations of an accessible, inclusive, open, transparent and user-friendly process. However, there are several areas where we feel the recommendations fall short of its goals…