Thanks for posting. The Ruling The Pembina Institute and the Fort McMurray Environmental Association (FMEA) applied for judicial review of a decision by AESRD that they were not “directly affected” persons and thus not entitled to provide input to the process considering applications by Southern Pacific Resource Corp to expand its oil sands extraction activities and divert water to use for that extraction. They filed a complaint. Fenton of 350.org says the government is already on the verge of breaking its biggest promise from the campaign trail related to environmental reviews and regulations by allowing Energy East and Kinder Morgan to move forward following existing processes. Photo courtesy of Janet Annesley.

This interpretation has also been applied (and contested) for many years before the various energy regulators in Alberta, who have used an even more restricted “adversely and directly affected” test. ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTRE: The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. As part of the authorization process, directly affected persons can submit “statements of concern” to the Director to set out their views and provide input on the proposed activity. Beyond giving initial input, this step has greater significance because only those who have filed a valid statement of concern may later appeal the Director’s decision on an authorization application. Your support makes a difference.

Fax: (780) 424-5133 On words such as “dirty,” “dangerous,” “wasteful” and “environmental disaster,” Canadians overall polled higher than Albertans.

In a strongly worded ruling, Justice Marceau called the Alberta Government’s actions “tainted" and concluded, “It is difficult to envision a more direct apprehension of bias,” in the government’s decision to improperly exclude the Pembina Institute’s evidence and participation, the press release says. Key to the Court’s setting aside the Director’s determination was a 2009 Alberta Environment briefing note addressing rejection of statements of concern from the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition, which included Pembina and FMEA.

Home » The ELC Blog » Pembina ruling shines spotlight on need for reform.

CRA # 11890 0679 RR0001 responsiveVoice.speak("Pembina ruling shines spotlight on need for reform This week, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench issued a ruling on public engagement in environmental decision-making in Pembina Institute v. Alberta (Environment and Sustainable Resources Development), 2013 ABQB 567. “I think the appointment of Janet Annesley is another piece where it seems like they’re already capitulating to that way of thinking, that the interest of big polluters is ahead of the people.”, Janet Annesley, chief of staff, for Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr. }; CONTACT: In 2009, she joined CAPP. }else{ What Happens Next? Yukon Frac Committee accused of bias, poor community engagement, Originally planned to meet with CAPP, Pembina Institute, Alberta Innovates (used to be Alberta Research Council), AER, NEB and no harmed Albertans! As a charity, the Environmental Law Centre depends on your financial support.

The opposite was true for economic words. As a charity, the Environmental Law Centre depends on your financial support. Later that same year, she called out Leonard DiCaprio after the actor posted a video calling for carbon to stay in the ground. “I can see this appointment may be an appeasement to the industry, but CAPP was absolutely irresponsible in dealing with climate change in the last 25 years.

The story was headlined, “The quiet fight for Alberta’s environmental record.”. To get there, we need to move away from considerations of “directly affected”, from treating diversity of views as something to be avoided, and from shielding regulatory decisions from public scrutiny. Janet Annesley doesn’t back down. Posted on January 4, 2014 by Jessica Ernst.

#410, 10115 100a Street Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2W2 While this decision opens a door that had been closed to Pembina and FMEA, its greater value is in shedding light on the systemic problems for public involvement in environmental regulation in Alberta. Our environment deserves better. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Its stated purposes include: However, the use and application of the “directly affected” test has been a bone of contention since that time, both before the Director and Environmental Appeals Board. In The Globe and Mail, Annesley said the report was written with a “foregone conclusion in mind,” and called it “inconsistent with that of a credible research organization,” as well as “biased and flawed.”. Not everyone is so sure. Twenty years ago, EPEA came into effect. This is the first in a series comparing and contrasting two prominent Canadian think tanks, namely the Fraser Institute and the Pembina Institute.

Calgary-born Annesley attended Mount Royal College, joining Shell Canada Energy in 2004 as its senior manager of stakeholder engagement and major projects communications. “They wanted to have a broad public campaign against the oil sands in an effort to shut them down. The time to change is now. To fend off the vocal opposition, CAPP launched a multi-million-dollar, industry-funded campaign that included billboards, television ads, and print, radio and web. This means that the Director must consider these parties’ submissions again and make a new determination on whether they are directly affected. Many years and dollars have been spent fighting over who is considered “directly affected”, to little productive effect and limited discussion of substantive environmental issues and concerns. The filing of valid statements of concern will also leave open the opportunity of appeal of the applications decisions to the Environmental Appeals Board. the opportunities made available through this Act for citizens to provide advice on decisions affecting the environment. David McConnell, REAC, High Prairie.

The filing of valid statements of concern will also leave open the opportunity of appeal of the applications decisions to the Environmental Appeals Board. In early 2014, the Pembina Institute issued a report saying the amount of crude necessary to fill the Energy East line would result in 34 million more tonnes annually of carbon dioxide emissions. To have a world-class environmental protection system, we need world-class decision-making processes. In their submissions to the Director, Pembina and FMEA addressed their links to the area and described concerns about potential impacts of the proposed activity on water quantity and quality, wildlife, air quality and land access. The recent attack on natural gas as a bridge fuel was thinly-veiled bias and used incomplete information, says columnist. About half of current oilsands production uses steam deep underground to soften the tarry bitumen and enable it to flow through to the surface. “But I also communicated and advocated for things like climate change policy and carbon pricing, and Indigenous participation in resource projects,” she says. Toll Free: 1-800-661-4238 The Need for Reform While this decision opens a door that had been closed to Pembina and FMEA, its greater value is in shedding light on the systemic problems for public involvement in environmental regulation in Alberta. This interpretation has also been applied (and contested) for many years before the various energy regulators in Alberta, who have used an even more restricted “adversely and directly affected” test. According to Kinsella, the job essentially consists of keeping the minister out of trouble and advancing his or her agenda and that of the government’s. if(responsiveVoice.isPlaying()){ On the phone from Ottawa, Annesley laughs out loud when asked what kind of influence she thinks she wields in Minister Jim Carr’s office. In August 2010, environmental journalist and author Andrew Nikiforuk wrote about a Proceedings of of the National Academy of Sciences study that found pollution from the tar sands industry “released a highly toxic brew of heavy metals into northern waterways.”. I hope the decision applies.

While the decision is noteworthy because it found that Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) breached all the elements of the duty of procedural fairness, it’s more important because it emphasizes the long-standing need to reform Alberta’s legislation on public involvement in environmental regulation. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. It is somewhat analogous to the finding of bias against Pembina institute in that […], […] issue of standing and public interest participation in environmental decision making remained front and centre with the Alberta Court finding that the […], Talk about good timing. If they are found to be directly affected, the submissions will be considered valid statements of concern and taken into account by the Director in deciding Southern Pacific’s applications. It also indicated that past acceptance had been tied, at least in part, to parties never having appealed a Director’s decision. Cases Considered: Pembina Institute v Alberta (Environment and Sustainable Resource Development), 2013 ABQB 567. To have a world-class environmental protection system, we need world-class decision-making processes. Warren Kinsella, a former adviser to former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, worked as a chief of staff in more than half-a-dozen federal ministries and crown corporations. But it wasn’t just “rubbish,” “wild claims,” and “eco-warrior publicity,” dogging the tar sands. The term has been narrowly interpreted, giving access mainly to those with direct geographic and economic links to proposed activities, while shutting out those with claims based on recreational use or volunteer stewardship of affected areas or on technical expertise related to issues under consideration. the protection of the environment is essential to the integrity of ecosystems and human health and to the well-being of society; the shared responsibility of all Alberta citizens for ensuring the protection, enhancement and wise use of the environment through individual actions; and.

Two years later, we recommended that this also be applied to other regulators making decisions in the public interest, such as the Energy Resources Conservation Board and Natural Resources Conservation Board. The term has been narrowly interpreted, giving access mainly to those with direct geographic and economic links to proposed activities, while shutting out those with claims based on recreational use or volunteer stewardship of affected areas or on technical expertise related to issues under consideration. Under both the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) and Water Act, oil sands development (and other industrial activities) must apply for authorizations. A few weeks later, Nikiforuk published another story, this time about fish with abnormalities found downstream from the tar sands operation. Marceau of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench said “It is difficult to envision a more direct apprehension of bias” in the government’s decision to exclude the Pembina Institute’s evidence and participation. Help us to continue to educate and champion for strong environmental laws, through tools such as our blog and all of our other resources, so that all Albertans can enjoy a healthy environment. It’s made environment groups edgy and left them wondering what kind of sway Annesley might have in the pivotal department of a government that’s already indicated that it favours pushing ahead with the pipelines. “So the universe balances out.”. It seems wrong for a decision-maker exercising public authority to be so set in its ways, but proving attitudinal bias is always difficult.



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