The Canadian Government is due to release a long-awaited report on the MacKenzie Valley natural gas pipeline plan. The Joint Review Panel’s report is expected to be a very detailed examination of the 760-mile pipeline’s prospects and environmental impacts. The permitting process for the pipeline has been repeatedly delayed, and the national political climate in Canada has been turbulent. Canada’s Conservative government was almost toppled a year ago, and today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper called off next month’s session of the Parliament until after the Vancouver Olympics. The Joint Review Panel began writing its report in 2004. It was initially supposed to take just ten months to complete. Exxon-Mobil subsidiary Imperial Oil is heading up the coalition that wants to build the MacKenzie pipeline, which would deliver gas to a hub in Alberta, just as the proposed Alaska gas line would do. Imperial has managed to negotiate terms with most – but not all – of the Native tribes whose lands the pipeline would cross.
Lee Sellek, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Download Audio (MP3)