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Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board

Inuvialuit Game Council

Backgrounder

Joint Review Panel for the Mackenzie Gas Project

The Project

The proposed Mackenzie Gas Project includes natural gas development in the Mackenzie River Delta in the Northwest Territories, gathering lines, processing facilities and pipeline facilities to transport gas south through the Mackenzie Valley to northern Alberta. The facilities would connect to the Nova Gas Transmission system and the associated commercial natural gas market, known as the NOVA Inventory Transfer (or NIT), near the NWT/Alberta border. The pipeline would be approximately 1,400 kilometres in length.

The Review Process

In August 2003, the federal Minister of the Environment referred the project to a joint review panel under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. In January 2004, the Environmental Impact Screening Committee for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, under the Western Arctic Claim: The Inuvialuit Final Agreement, made the decision to refer the project to the federal review panel process. On April 20, 2004, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) announced that it had decided to refer the project to an environmental impact review. In May 2004, the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada gave his approval for the MVEIRB to enter into an agreement to establish a joint review panel.

There are three parties to the joint review panel process: the federal Minister of the Environment, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) and the Inuvialuit Game Council. After a public consultation period on the draft Joint Review Panel Agreement and the Environmental Impact Statement Terms of Reference, the three parties considered all comments received and jointly finalized the two documents. They also appointed the joint review panel members.

The 16-month environmental assessment for the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project is scheduled to begin with the appointment of the independent seven-person joint review panel. The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board selected three of the members and the other four were appointed by the Minister of the Environment, two of whom were nominated by the Inuvialuit Game Council.

The Participant Funding Program

The Government of Canada approved a first funding in the amount of $116,515 to 16 applicants, representing a broad range of interests, to assist them in the review of the draft Environmental Impact Statement Terms of Reference. A list of approved funding recipients can be found on the Northern Gas Project Secretariat's (NGPS) Web site at: www.ngps.nt.ca and the Agency's Web site.

The Government of Canada is providing up to $1.5 million in participant funding. Up to $1.38 million will be made available under the federal funding program for two more phases of the environmental review of the project. Details on this funding will be announced at a later date.

The Panel Members

Ms. Gina Dolphus

A native of Deline, NWT, Gina Dolphus has spent many years working in a number of areas including politics, counselling, advocacy, management and administration. She has successfully represented her community in various ways, including working as the Trustee for the Inuvik Regional Health Board and acting as Vice-Chairperson for the Sahtu Divisional Board of Education. Other notable accomplishments include working as Vice-Chairperson for the Land and Finance Corporation in Deline and serving as Sahtu's Regional Director for the Native Women's Association of the Northwest Territories. Most recently, Ms. Dolphus worked as Community Wellness Coordinator with the Deline Uranium Team for the Deline Dene Band.

Mr. Barry Greenland

Barry Greenland is well-known to his community as the President of the Ingamo Hall Friendship Centre and the President and Chair of the Northwest Territories Council Centres. He has also acted as Sub-Chief of the Inuvik Native Band in Inuvik, NWT, for 10 years where he worked closely with the Gwich'in Tribal Council and Indian and Northern Affairs. Mr. Greenland has also acted as Director of the Gwich'in Tribal Council Board for two years and as Director of the Nihtat Gwich'in Development Corporation for six years. Previously, Mr. Greenland worked as community and projects coordinator for the Inuvik Native Band which provides support to the youth and the elders. His career also includes serving as an alcohol and drug youth counsellor, and helping others as an income support worker.

Mr. Percy Hardisty

As member of the panel, Percy Hardisty brings to the table almost 25 years of leadership experience within his community. As well as being Chairperson for the Deh Cho Friendship Centre located in the Deh Cho Region, Mr. Hardisty was elected as Chief of the Pehdzeh Ki First Nation and served as Dene National Assembly Co-ordinator. Other accomplishments include receiving the Queen's Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medal in 2002 and serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. Most recently, Mr. Hardisty worked as a fieldworker and counsellor for the Fort Providence Residential School Society. He holds a certificate in Management Studies from Aurora College, in Fort Simpson, NWT.

Mr. Rowland Harrison

Rowland Harrison has been a member of the National Energy Board since 1997. Mr. Harrison has extensive experience as an advisor on energy regulation to provincial, territorial, federal and foreign governments. He has been Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa, Dalhousie University, the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. Before joining the Board, he was a partner in the Calgary office of Stikeman Elliott, a national and international Canadian law firm. Mr. Harrison holds a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Tasmania, Australia, and a Master of Law degree from the University of Alberta. He is a member of the bars of Nova Scotia, Ontario and Alberta.

Mr. Robert Hornal

Robert Hornal brings to the panel 40 years of experience in resource management, environmental and socio-economic assessment, land claim administration, land use planning, government and regulatory affairs. He is currently a principal of Robert Hornal and Associates Ltd., a Vancouver based consulting firm specializing in resource management, Aboriginal, environmental and socio-economic issues. In the 1970s, Mr. Hornal served as Director for the NWT Northern Affairs Program and was later appointed British Columbia Administrator of the Northern Pipeline Agency in 1981. As a senior federal civil servant, he has chaired numerous committees and liaised extensively with federal, territorial and local politicians and other government representatives. Mr. Hornal graduated with a Gold Medal in Geology from Queen's University in 1961.

Mr. Tyson Pertschy

Tyson Pertschy has extensive experience in natural and cultural resources. He has worked as a Federal Fishery Officer and a National Park Warden in numerous locations across Canada. Mr. Pertschy is also a board member of the Inuvialuit Arbitration Committee, has been a Commissioner for the Inuvialuit Land Administration, and acted as a Director for the Inuvialuit Investment Committee. In addition, he participated in 1991 in the Simon Fraser University external study on wildlife management and anthropology in Kenya.

Mr. Pertschy holds a Certificate of Specialization in Fish and Wildlife Management from Lethbridge Community College in Alberta. He is a beneficiary of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and has traveled extensively throughout the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. On his own time, he enjoys being on the land and water.

Mr. Peter J. Usher

Peter J. Usher is a geographer with graduate degrees from McGill University and the University of British Columbia. Dr. Usher worked and lived in the Western Arctic between 1962 and 1976. During that time he was involved in community economic development, the Inuvialuit land claim, and the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry. Since 1977 he has operated an independent consultancy based in Ottawa, and has established a broad client base across the North, from Labrador to Alaska. His work has focused on social and environmental impact assessment, land use and resource management, and Aboriginal claims. From 1991 to 1997 Dr. Usher was Director of Research at Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, in Ottawa. Dr. Usher was appointed by the Government of Canada as a member of the Joint Environmental Assessment Panel to review the proposed Voisey's Bay Mine-Mill Project in Labrador (1997-1999). He was appointed by the Government of the Northwest Territories to chair the Wildlife Management Advisory Council (NWT) (1997-2000). He resides in Lanark County, west of Ottawa.

Contact information

For more information, contact:

  • Gordon Harris
    Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Ottawa
    Tel.: (613) 957-0825
    Fax: (613) 957-0946
    E-mail: Gordon.Harris@ceaa-acee.gc.ca
  • Annette Bourgeois
    Northern Gas Project Secretariat, Yellowknife
    Tel.: (867) 766-8602
    Toll Free: 1-866-372-8600
    Fax: (867) 766-8624
    E-mail: abourgeois@ngps.nt.ca
  • Roland Semjanovs
    Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board, Yellowknife
    Tel.: (867) 766-7051
    Fax: (867) 766-7074
    E-mail: RSemjanovs@mveirb.nt.ca
  • Nelson Perry
    Joint Secretariat for the Inuvialuit Renewable Resource Committees, Inuvik
    Tel.: (867) 777-2828
    Fax: (867) 777-2610
    E-mail: igc-js@jointsec.nt.ca