The Commission set out 34 conditions related to safety and integrity, employment and training, environmental protection and Indigenous Peoples’ involvement in monitoring. NGTL must also report on its support for Indigenous Peoples to review project conditions.
The Commission is satisfied that consultation with Indigenous Peoples has been adequate for the Commission’s recommendation and has included conditions to avoid or mitigate impacts to the Rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples. In addition to the recommendation on the project, two additional recommendations were made: that the Governor in Council (GIC) establish an NGTL System-wide Indigenous Oversight Cooperative Committee; and that the Minister, in partnership with other jurisdictions, undertake a regional environmental assessment in the area.
The CER, in its role as Agent of the Crown and Crown Consultation Coordinator for the project, will continue two-way dialogue with Indigenous Peoples to support the GIC decision-making process.
The CER Act requires that the Commission’s recommendation report is submitted to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada. The Minister will then take the recommendation report to the GIC, who will decide whether or not to direct the Commission to issue a certificate.
If the GIC approves, the Commission will issue a certificate to NGTL authorizing it to begin the construction and eventual operation of the project, subject to conditions. The CER will monitor and enforce all conditions using audits, inspections, and other compliance and enforcement tools. The project has an anticipated in-service date of November 2023.
This is the Commission’s first recommendation under the CER Act. Highlights include:
- As Agent of the Crown, the CER conducted consultation activities with potentially affected Indigenous Peoples in support of the Commission’s hearing process.
- The Commission’s hearing process was based on early engagement and inclusive participation.
- The Report also clearly reflects Indigenous knowledge, gender-based analysis plus and Canada’s climate change commitments.
- The CER Act came into force on August 28, 2019, establishing the Canada Energy Regulator.
- NGTL filed its project application with the CER on October 22, 2020.
- The hearing process involved 32 participants (28 intervenors and four commenters) including 24 distinct Indigenous Peoples, seven landowners or landowner associations, five industry representatives and three government departments.
- The project parallels existing infrastructure for about 90 per cent of the proposed route, crossing approximately five km of Crown land including about one km of federal land (Bar U Ranch Historic Site) and 34 km of private freehold land. It will require 3.7 km of permanent right-of-way.
- The Commission found that, overall, the project will have a positive economic effect on employment, gross domestic product, government revenue, and business opportunities near the towns of Turner Valley, Longview and Lundbeck in Alberta. NGTL anticipated that construction would generate approximately $80 million in direct benefits to Alberta’s economy.