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Northwatch Comments on the Draft Terms of Reference for the Gazoduq Project

Reference Number
Date Submitted
2020-07-15 7:25:02 PM

Northwatch has reviewed the draft Terms of Reference and provides comments by way of this correspondence. In summary, our comments on the draft Terms of Reference include the following:

  • While the failing may have arisen elsewhere and earlier in the review process, such as with the draft Guidelines, the draft terms of reference reflect fundamental flaws in the foundation and scope of this review, including:
  • project-splitting, with separate reviews for the Gazoduq natural gas pipeline and the proposed Énergie Saguenay Project of which it is an integral and inseparable part.
  • Omission of requirements for a full accounting of all project impacts, including upstream and downstream impacts which are fully connected to this project, but are not being considered; these include impacts of natural gas exploration and extraction, refinement of these carbon products, transport of natural gas from point of origin/production to the purported “start” of the project at Ramore, proposed Énergie Saguenay Project, shipment and export and utilization of the products of the proposed Énergie Saguenay Project to overseas markets
  • Placing the meeting of Canada’s climate commitments as just one of a list of areas to address; the review process fails to adequately elevate climate considerations, and as a result may quite likely fail to give climate impacts adequate consideration

Comments on Draft Terms of Reference

The manner in which the ‘scope” is presented has the effect of a shopping list, with no sense of there being environmental or social imperatives, or any of the many factors listed having paramountcy. While we accept that all the elements listed in Section 3 are important, the terms of reference should be restructured to convey a position of paramountcy for the following three areas:

  • the extent to which the Project may contribute to or undermine or hinder the achievement of sustainability;
  • the extent to which the effects and the carrying out of the Project, including upstream and downstream effects and activities, will hinder or contribute to the Government of Canada’s ability to meet its environmental obligations and its commitments in respect of climate change, including and particularly the ability to meet net-zero by 2050 or earlier
  • the extent to which the effects, the carrying out, and the review of the Project will meet Canada’s commitments and obligations to Indigenous peoples

In addition, we make more detailed comments with respect to several sections and subsections of the draft Terms of Reference in the attached document.

Submitted by
Northwatch Org
Public Notice
Comment Tags
Climate change Species at Risk Wildlife / Habitat Assessment Timelines / Process Purpose of the Project Cumulative effects Biodiversity Local Population Land and Resource Use / Tenure
  • Northwatch-15 July 2020 - draft Terms of Reference.pdf (299929 KB)
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