Ottawa apparently sees the NEB as a friend of the oil industry


Canada’s nominally independent energy regulator, the National Energy Board (which is currently evaluating Enbridge’s plan to build the Northern Gateway pipeline) is an ally of the federal government, according to an embarrassing official policy paper that was made public on Thursday. First Nations, on the other hand, are an adversary.

Greenpeace just published pages of documents obtained by the Climate Action Network through a freedom of information request. They show the NEB listed among entities Ottawa considers to be allies in its struggle to promote oil sands abroad. In an adjacent column on the same piece of paper, First Nations appear under “adversaries.”  The documents were drafted by Canada’s international trade ministry, and they lay out an advocacy strategy to combat criticism of Canada’s oil sands in the European Union.

Frantic efforts to contain the damage are already underway. The international trade ministry let it be known it does “not agree with the characterizations;” the NEB protested that it is “free from influence;” and Environment Minister Peter Kent is crying out loud against the unfortunate paper’s “gross mischaracterization of reality.” Still, for Ottawa this remains a big, slippery black stain.

Read the documents for yourself below:


Ottawa apparently sees the NEB as a friend of the oil industry

  1. Raise your hand if this comes as a surprise to you.


  2. So?

    • The NEB is an independent economic regulatory agency

      • You left out “nominally”.

        • Heh…Bev Oda musta pencilled that in when I wasn’t looking.

  3. The NEB’s Enbridge Pipeline Review Panel, locally known as the “Dog and Pony Show”, just had their public hearing here in Prince George, British Columbia. Everyone, including First Nations, are preparing for litigation, because they view the NEB Review Panel’s process as being pre-determined for APPROVAL of the project. This bit of news just confirms our views! This supposedly neutral and objective process has become a complete joke!!!

  4. One would like to believe that all industries that produce jobs and create wealth for Canadians are “friends” of this government.

    Of course if one is a quasi/marxist who views a utopic government controlled economy as being inherently good and free market based businesses are inherently bad – a description befitting the vast majority of those at the core of the “green” movement – then yes, such a description is worthy of scorn.

    • Of course if one is a damn fool and insists on job and wealth creation without some forethought, one sets rivers on fire.
      Now do stop being silly, and dump the ideology for some common sense.

    • Chesterton: If I give you a job, but poison your well water, am I still a net positive effect on your life?  It’s ridiculous how people seem to think that to be pro-environment is anti-people.  

  5. Why is the National Energy board listed as an allie when the are to be independant reviewers of the Enbridge pipeline??  Hmmmm


    As an intervenor i submitted this piece o evidence…
    16) In the National Energy
    Board’s most recent report – “Report on Plan and Priorities” -2011-12, there
    is a very disturbing acknowledgement by the Board. The Board realizes what is
    at stake if they are not open and transparent …” If stakeholders lose
    confidence in the NEB as a federal energy regulator, it could impede the
    organization’s effectiveness and sphere of influence. Reputation and
    credibility flow from how an organization

    conducts its
    activities and works to achieve results. The NEB will continue to strive toward
    excellence in achieving its strategic outcome. NEB staff will maintain their
    expert knowledge in the energy industry. The Board will continue to listen to
    stakeholders to ensure that all viewpoints are understood and that Board
    decisions represent the full range of the Canadian public interest. Finally,
    the NEB will be transparent about all its actions to show Canadians how it is
    holding both itself and the regulated industry accountable.” ( page 8)


    17) But on
    page 9 of the 2011-12 Report, it states “Increased public, parliamentary and
    media interest in the work of the NEB, combined with a heightened public
    interest in energy matters, have created an opportunity for the Board. Because
    of its higher public profile, the Board now has a better chance to educate
    Canadians on how pipelines are built and operated in a safe and secure
    manner that protects the environment and enables efficient energy markets.”


    18) This
    appears to be the first mention for a new mandate for the Board, to EDUCATE! I
    hope that is not the case as that will definitely lead to “stakeholders losing
    confidence in the NEB as a federal energy regulator” and impact its’
    “reputation and credibility.”