Update: Open Letter to Premier Christy Clark

30 April 2012


On April 19, 2012 I wrote an open letter to Premier Clark requesting she advise Prime Minister Harper that she is taking back—on behalf of the people of BC—our right to have the final say on the Northern Gateway pipeline project.

That right was signed away in June 2010 under an Equivalency Agreement with the National Energy Board, but can be reclaimed with 30 days notice.

This request to the Premier is necessary because the Federal government has informed the Canadian people that Northern Gateway will proceed.
To ensure it has the power to enforce its decision, the Harper government has introduced legislation that can over-ride the National Energy Board. Under the previous rules, if the National Energy Board in its wisdom had rejected the pipeline, the project would not proceed.

Since the National Energy Board has not completed its review, and numerous people affected by this project have not yet presented to the panel, the Federal government has violated procedural fairness and the expectations of all involved. This is not just or fair.

In order to rectify this situation and protect the rights of British Columbians the Premier needs reclaim our right to due process and decision making.

The letter to Premier Clark was posted on this blog April 19, 2012.

A reply from the Office of the Premier was received April 27, 2012. The Premier’s Office has informed me that the letter has been forwarded onto the Minister of the Environment, Terry Lake. Minister Lake has the power to reclaim our right. I have posted the reply below.

From: Office of the Premier

To: Robyn Allan

Friday April, 27, 2012

cc Minister of the Environment, Honourable Terry Lake

Subject: BC’s Right to Environmental Assessment Needs to be Reclaimed

Thank you for your email, and attached letter addressed to the Honourable Premier Christy Clark, regarding the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. Your comments relating to the environmental review process currently being undertaken by the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) Joint Review Panel have been noted.

We appreciate the time that you have taken to share your views and insight with us and have forwarded your correspondence to the Honourable Terry Lake, Minister of Environment, for his review and consideration as well. You can be assured that the specific points you have raised in your letter will be included in related discussions between Minister Lake, members of his senior staff and officials in the Provincial Environmental Assessment Office.

Again, thank you for writing.

Because it is not clear to me that Dr. Lake will reply to my letter once he has discussed it with his officials, I sent the following letter to Dr. Lake.

April, 28, 2012

Dear Dr. Lake,

The Premier’s Office has replied to me and indicated that my letter to Premier Clark has been forwarded to you.

I am following up with you as the reply indicates that you will review and consider the letter and discuss the points with your officials. However, it does not confirm that you will address my comments in a reply to me.

I would appreciate it if you could please confirm that after you have had a chance to review my letter with your officials that you will be responding to the specific points in my letter directly in a reply to me.

Sincerely, Robyn Allan

cc Premier Christy Clark

Please write Dr. Lake, and copy Premier Clark, requesting that the Province inform the Federal Government that BC’s right to review and decide on Northern Gateway is being reclaimed.

Dr. Lake’s email address is env.minister@gov.bc.ca

Premier Clark’s email address is premier@gov.bc.ca