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LNG is B.C.’s future, and governments at all levels are anxious to streamline development. Enter the federal government, which recently announced two new measures designed “to engage and involve” First Nations in energy projects.
The question is whether these initiatives will provide substantial change to the status quo.
“I don’t think we’ve had a really good understanding of what government is doing, if anything, to actually streamline the process of approving projects,” observes lawyer Tom Isaac, a partner with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP who specializes in aboriginal law.
It’s an alarming thought. Governments at all levels may be excited about liquefied natural gas, but Mr. Isaac points out that in the absence of concrete steps to accelerate consultation, the status quo prevails. This leads Mr. Isaac to ask: “Isn’t the First Nations issue the elephant in the room?”
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