December 17, 2010 - The Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP), constructed and operated in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, will be a key economic driver for the NWT and Canadian economies.
Responding to yesterday’s announcement by the National Energy Board (NEB) that the Mackenzie Gas Project is in the public interest and can be built, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Bob McLeod says he hopes Canada will provide the appropriate level of support for this vital project.
“While the NEB’s decision brings the country closer to the pipeline than ever before, there are still challenges to be met,” said Minister McLeod yesterday.
The GNWT is in the initial stages of a review of the NEB’s decision which includes over 200 conditions. Three key elements of the decision stood out for the GNWT:
- Sunset Clause: The GNWT is pleased the NEB has included a short sunset clause in its Reasons for Decision. This will keep everyone focused on moving the project forward
- Soci-economic agreements (SEA): The GNWT respects the NEB’s decision in this matter, but it is unfortunate that the NEB has elected not to incorporate compliance with the SEA as a condition of the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN). The GNWT still has its contractual arrangement with the proponents and it will continue to work with the proponents to implement the SEA even though it is not a condition of the CPCN.
- Gas to Communities: The GNWT believes that what the NEB has done will serve residents of the NWT well. It will reduce the cost of living in some of our communities and it is an example of the benefits from this project being maximized for NWT residents.
Yesterday’s announcement concludes one of the main regulatory steps in the review of the Mackenzie Gas Project. The Reasons for Decision will now go to the federal government for approval. If approved, a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity would be issued to the project proponents to build the Mackenzie Gas Project. Once the Certificate is issued, the MGP proponents will ultimately decide on whether to build the project.
“A fiscal agreement between the federal government and the proponents is the next important piece in this process. It is now time for these two parties to come to terms on a fiscal agreement for the MGP,” said Minister McLeod.
It is estimated that the MGP could contribute $67.5 billion to the NWT economy and over $86 billion to the Canadian economy. Natural gas shipped to market through the MGP would help to displace fuels that produce significant greenhouse gas emissions.
The GNWT believes that sustainable and environmentally responsible resource development projects, like the Mackenzie Gas Project, will benefit NWT residents by diversifying the economy and empowering communities and regions with opportunities and choices as envisioned by the 16th Legislative Assembly in its Northerners Working Together plan.
For more information, contact:
Office of the Premier/Cabinet
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: (867) 669-2302