Building on the existing National Energy Board (NEB) review of the project, the Panel’s role was to create additional opportunities for communities close to the proposed pipeline and shipping route to share views on the project not already heard by government, through dialogue guided by their priorities.
Indigenous groups were also invited to engage with the Panel; without substituting for the Crown’s deep and meaningful consultations with Indigenous peoples.
All feedback received that was not heard in the NEB Report will be reviewed and summarized in a final report which will be made public, and used to inform the Cabinet’s final decision on the project in December 2016.
This initiative aligns with a set of principles established to guide decision-making on major resource projects, while the Government undertakes a broader review of environmental assessment processes and NEB modernization.
The mandate of the Panel is to complement the NEB environmental assessment and regulatory review and to identify whether there are any additional views that could be relevant to the Government’s final decision. In order to provide the best possible advice, the Panel will:
- Review and consider input from the public via an on-line portal;
- Meet with local stakeholder representatives in communities along the pipeline and shipping route;
- Meet with Indigenous groups that wish to share their views with the Panel, noting that the Panel’s work will complement but not substitute for the Crown consultations; and,
- Submit a report to the Minister of Natural Resources no later than November 1, 2016.
The Minister of Natural Resources will make this report public.