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Trudeau drills impending pipeline review 0

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau makes his way through Vancouver's rugged Downtown Eastside. (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau makes his way through Vancouver's rugged Downtown Eastside. (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau attacked the integrity of a crucial review of the Northern Gateway pipeline on the eve of its release — accusing Prime Minster Stephen Harper of politicizing the process.

The final recommendations from the Joint Review Panel on whether the project should be approved will be released in Calgary Thursday.

On Wednesday, speaking at a publicity stop at Main and Hastings, Trudeau said the report wasn’t conducted properly.

“It didn’t have nearly adequate enough consultation with either local people or First Nations,” he said.

It isn’t the first time Trudeau has doubted how complete the panel’s research was and he also accused Harper of tainting the report by making it a political issue.

“The National Energy Board when it rendered its decision in 2010 on Keystone XL was a robust, independent process. It has since been overly politicized by Mr. Harper,” he said. “So I’m hopeful they’ll come down with a decision against Northern Gateway, but we’ll see what happens.”

The panel’s report will be released first to reporters in Calgary Thursday morning in a lock-up format similar to the release of government budgets. B.C. residents won’t be privy to the recommendations until the afternoon.

The final decision on the $5.5-billion pipeline falls on Canada’s government, controlled by the Conservative Party.

The controversial project, if approved, would carry bitumen oil from Alberta to Kitimat, where it will then be loaded on ships and sent to Asia.

Enbridge, the company behind the report, would not comment on Trudeau’s comments, reserving them until after the release of the report.

The B.C. Environment Ministry would also not comment pending the report.

 

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