Government of Canada

Government of Canada

May 17, 2010 15:10 ET

Governments of Canada and Northwest Territories Complete an Interim Response to the Joint Review Panel Report for the Mackenzie Gas Project

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - The Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories today announced that they have completed an interim response to the Joint Review Panel's (JRP) report for the Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP). The interim response addresses the JRP's 176 recommendations regarding mitigation of the potential environmental and social impacts of the proposed MGP. 

"The Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories have collaborated to respond to the JRP recommendations regarding the Mackenzie Gas Project. The release of this information brings us closer to another MGP milestone," said Environment Minister Jim Prentice. "The environmental assessment of the project will be finalized under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. This will assure Northerners and all Canadians that the environmental and socio-economic impacts of this project have been assessed under a rigorous process."

"This government recognizes the importance of the mitigation measures outlined in the JRP report and acknowledges the need for sustainable economic development within a rigorous environmental stewardship framework in the Northwest Territories." said Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for the Métis. "The sharing of the Interim Response will inform consultations with Aboriginal groups prior to the preparation of the final response."

The Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories believe that the interim response is in keeping with the overall intent of the JRP's report and have concluded that implementing the interim response would eliminate or significantly reduce any of the adverse impacts of the MGP. This is reflected by the fact that both Governments propose to accept or accept the intent of the vast majority of the recommendations within their respective jurisdictions. 

The Governments have acknowledged the importance of the mitigation measures outlined by the JRP and have responded to the wide range of recommendations. The proposed responses support environmental mitigation ranging from permafrost and terrain monitoring, inspection and enforcement strategy for fish and fish habitat protection, plans for dredging and barge landings, recovery strategies and actions plans for Species at Risk, habitat offsets in response to future development in the Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary, implementation of the NWT Protected Areas Strategy, to emergency response and spill prevention procedures. 

The interim response will be provided to Aboriginal groups living along the proposed pipeline route to ensure that potentially affected groups have substantive information in advance of upcoming consultations. The outcomes of this ongoing consultation process will inform the development of the final response. Consultation with the JRP regarding proposed modifications and rejections to the recommendations will also be undertaken prior to finalizing the response.

Following consultations, the Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories will finalize the interim response before posting it on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry internet site. It will also be distributed to the National Energy Board before it releases its "Reasons for Decision" on whether to issue the required authorizations respecting the MGP.

To find out more about the Interim Response and upcoming Aboriginal consultations, please visit the Mackenzie Gas Project Office website at http://www.ec.gc.ca/bpgm-mgpo/default.asp?lang=En&n=3A161B21-1

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit: www.ec.gc.ca.

(Également offert en français)

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