From the Field

LNG project in Canada

Activists to sue Canada over LNG project

VANCOUVER, October 26, 2016 – Environmentalists and aboriginal activists said Wednesday they would sue to halt Malaysian state energy company Petronas’ USD 27.2-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project, weeks after it had been green-lighted by the Canadian government.

Pacific NorthWest, already hit by three years of delays over environmental permits and low oil and gas prices, faces opposition from climate scientists who say that greenhouse gas emissions from it could threaten the environment, as well as from indigenous activists concerned about the possible destruction of fisheries.


“They totally ignored whatever we put forward to them,” the chief of one of the First Nations communities protesting the project, Glen Williams, told Reuters.

The suits could pose a significant threat to the project, especially after Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal in June overturned Enbridge’s permits to construct the CAD 7.9-billion (USD 5.92 billion) Northern Gateway oil pipeline on grounds that the government had failed to “fulfill its duty to consult” local communities. A new decision about how to proceed with Northern Gateway is expected on November 25.

“The indigenous claims are tending to see more success [than the environmental claims] but in part that’s because the law is less defined and because indigenous communities have constitutional rights,” Dwight Newman, indigenous rights expert at the University of Saskatchewan, told Reuters.

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