Tuesday, September 08, 2015

This Day In Clarkland...All Hail The Environmental Appeals Board.


The gist of this story you've probably already heard...

But, just in case, it's all to be found in Gordon Hoekstra's lede in the the VSun:

The Fort Nelson First Nation has won a potentially precedent-setting decision from the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board that cancels the water licence of a natural gas fracking operation in northeast B.C.

The appeal board — in a decision that took 20 months to deliver — concluded the science behind the licence was fundamentally flawed and the province did not consult the First Nation in good faith.

Both the province and the company involved, Nexen, had argued using the water would have no significant adverse environmental effects and there was adequate consultation...


Importantly, as usual, Mr. Hoekstra goes further and gets to the heart(s) of the matter.

One of which is the 'work' of the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources on this file:

...In making its decision, the appeal board said that internal ministry correspondence showed the province intended to issue the water licence regardless of promised meetings with the Fort Nelson First Nation, and had no intention to substantially address concerns that might have been raised by the First Nation.

“The panel finds that this conduct was inconsistent with the honour of the Crown and the overall objective of reconciliation,” said its decision.

The panel also found that the province’s conclusion that the water withdrawals would have no significant impacts on the environment, including fish, riparian wildlife, and their habitat, was based on incorrect, inadequate, and mistaken information and modelling results.

The limited data available after water was extracted still did not support a conclusion the environment would not be harmed, said the appeal board...

Sometimes I honestly wonder if fourteen years of the Campbell-Clark government's pay-to-play crony capitalism has turned all of our provincial oversight mechanisms to swiss cheese and sawdust.



Will co-opted heads at the Ministry of Forests, etcetera roll?


My money is on a 'reorganization' of the environmental appeals process.

Or some such thing.

And can you imagine the battle royale that likely went on for the last 18 or 19 months to even get this decision out into the light of day?



Anonymous said...

Nice timing on that appeal decision...

"As Premier Christy Clark and her caucus head today into two days of talks with 500 B.C. First Nations leaders, a new alliance of northern aboriginal leaders says the province continues to deny their role in managing their territories and to make decisions without their consent."

Northern chiefs say province treats them as an afterthought
‘They’re making decisions regardless of what you say,’ says Fort Nelson chief

by Kim Pemberton, Vancouver Sun

RossK said...


Excellent point, thanks.

Interestingly, the flying surrender monkeys commenting on Mr. Hoekstra's original story are blaming FN for being obstructionist...This is why what Mr. Hoekstra wrote about what the Ministry did (i.e. actively working to ignore both the FN AND the science) is so important in my opinion.


Grant G said...

Well Mr. K....Something does indeed stink around this 20 month to make decision..

From this article.


Nexen spokeswoman Dianne Kossman said the company is also reviewing the Appeal Board`s decision but has not made any decisions on next steps.

"We had significantly slowed the pace of exploration and development in the regiuon due to depressed commodity prices, therefore the decision doesn`t have any immediate impacts on our operations" Kossman said in email


So, Nexen who had their Alberta oil pipelines shut down...Now their fracking water taken away..Nexen, which is owned by CNOOC....Maybe this will be the first test of FIPA and its protections, or..

Or perhaps Nexen and CONOOC were getting out of the fracking business because of structural glut and thus weren`t using the water as of late anyway, ...A victory handed to First Nations on an operation that was shutting down....Don`t you Ross K..

Nexen doesn`t need this water, and unless they were planning a LNG export plant in BC, however, if CONOOC was cancelling their proposed LNG plant at Grassy Point in Prince Rupert,there would be no need to fight the review board..


North Van's Grumps said...

Gordon Hoekdstra notes that the BC Liberal government gave the okay for Nexen to extract up to "2.5 billion litres of water per year, enough to fill about 1,000 Olympic size swimming pools, the company estimated they needed only 1.2 billion litres per year for fracking operations."

It's kind of difficult to get one's head around how much water is in an Olympic Swimming Pool however from our research:

1) 208 elephants would fit in ONE Olympic size swimming pool, just imagine 208,000 elephants rounded up and used for fracking operations
2) 3.27 swimming pools would hold the entire global supply of gold
3) Kinder Morgan: Approximately three million barrels of crude oil travel through Canada’s crude oil pipeline network every day, enough to fill more than 475 million one-litre milk cartons or almost 200 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
4) Environment Canada: MERCURY contained in a typical thermometer can contaminate five Olympic-size swimming pools to toxic levels.
5) Maple Ridge uses 4,200 full Olympic sized swimming pools per year, that's 10.5 million cubic meters .... population 69,000 to 75,000.
6) Enough nuclear waste to fill more than a 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools could be buried in an underground chamber near the Ottawa River.
7) Sir Adam Beck Generating Stations downstream at a rate that would fill an Olympic sized swimming pool every five seconds
8) The environmental groups say as Encana proceeded with the fracking process to extract natural gas from underground reserves, it drew 880 Olympic swimming pools worth of water over three years from the Kiskatinaw River, which supplies drinking water to the city of Dawson Creek.

Danneau said...

I had an e-mail from brother Peter in San Jose containing a series of quotations such as some of us use as sig files, many of them clever, but all, in this lot, directed at dysfunction in government, used to justify a complete libertarian make over of society. Even though some are taken entirely out of context, the intent is clear: let's get rid of bad government, not to replace with good government, but rather not to replace it at all so everyone can do whatever they damn well want. Enough "broken" agencies and enough corruption at all levels and in all agencies of the public sphere might remove the last restraints, in some peoples' minds, on what really is anti-social behaviour. This may not have been the Campbell/Clark plan, but it seems to be working out nicely.

Oh, what the hell, here's the list:
In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a government.
John Adams

If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
Mark Twain

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
George Bernard Shaw

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys
P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else.
Frederic Bastiat, French economist(1801-1850)

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
Will Rogers

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.
Voltaire (1764)

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!
Pericles (430 B.C.)

No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.
Mark Twain (1866)

Talk is cheap...except when government does it.

The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
Ronald Reagan

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
Mark Twain

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.
Edward Langley, Artist (1928-1995)

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
Thomas Jefferson

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!
P.J. O'Rourke

Grant G said...

Nexen energy, which is owned by CNOOC(Chinese National offshore Oil Company)...Remember their Prince Rupert LNG proposal...

Read this...


REF 271001

January 8, 2015

Darcy Janko

Aurora LNG Ltd.
801 7
Ave SW
Calgary AB T2P 2V7

Dear Mr. Janko:
Thank you for your letter dated January 6, 2015 Requesting that the Aurora LNG Grassy Point Project(proposed project)be withdrawn from the provincial environmental assessment(EA) process. The Environmental Office(EAO)is in agreement with your request and has reflected the "withdrawn status" on our website.
EAO intends to post this letter, with your letter attached to our website and to reflect the status of the EA for the proposed project.
If you have any questions, please contact me by email at
or by phone at 250-638-5172

Yours truly,
Tavis McDonald
Project Assessment Manager


This/that letter was posted in this Straight Goods article..


CNOOC has done nothing but lose money in Canada, and if CNOOC and Nexen no longer needed the water, the review board would have a real easy decision to make..


Lew said...

The problem appears to be that the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources used the Olympic-size swimming pool figures for the Winter Olympics.

Anonymous said...


Once again, the media trying to mix whitewash with making lemon aid out of lemons.