OTTAWA – The fall of 2016 is shaping up as a period of crucial decisions by the federal government on climate policy and energy infrastructure. Here are some key dates:
Sept. 20 — The federal government announced it would not seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on a ruling that impacted the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal and First Nations consultation. The Federal Court of Appeal overturned the conditional approval of the oil pipeline in June, ruling that Ottawa failed to properly consult First Nations affected by the pipeline. The Liberal government said it agreed with the court judgment, and pointed the finger of blame at the previous Conservative government.
Oct. 2 — The final, three-month review period for an environmental assessment of a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C., concludes. The federal government must decide by this date whether to approve the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, whose principal investor is Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas.
Oct. 3 — Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna meets in Montreal with her provincial and territorial counterparts to begin final negotiations on a pan-Canadian climate plan based on the policy reports of four federal-provincial working groups.
Nov. 1 — Report due from the three-person federal review panel doing indigenous consultations on Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Nov. 7 – 18 — The 22nd Council of the Parties to the UN’s international climate negotiations, or COP22, takes place in Marrakech, Morocco, where national representatives are supposed to present an update on policy changes designed to make last year’s landmark Paris climate agreement a reality.
November/December — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to sit down with the provincial and territorial premiers to finalize a climate plan that will set Canada on course to cut emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The Prime Minister’s Office says the date of the promised first ministers meeting has not yet been determined.
Dec. 19 — Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr has said the federal cabinet will make a decision by this date on whether to approve or reject construction of an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific port in Burnaby, B.C.