December 23, 2008
Mr. Robert Hornal, Chair
Joint Review Panel for the Mackenzie Gas Project
Suite 302, 125 Mackenzie Road
Dear Mr. Hornal:
Re: Revised Date for Release of the Joint Review Panel Report
We wish to confirm that the Joint Review Panel Agreement (JRPA or Agreement) parties
have received the December 5th news release issued by the Joint Review Panel (JRP)
regarding the revised December 2009 final report release date. We assume this
announcement by the Panel is a response to the letter from the Mackenzie Valley
Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) and Inuvialuit Game Council (IGC)
dated November 26th, 2008 requesting that the JRP “determine its best estimate of a
completion date for its final report and relate that information to participants in the
environmental impact review of the Mackenzie Gas Project and the general public…”.
The JRPA requires that any revision to the schedule for the environmental impact review
of the Mackenzie Gas Project be approved by the parties to the Agreement. This letter is
to provide early notice that the revised completion date of December 2009 is not
acceptable to the MVEIRB and the IGC.
The December 2009 completion date came as a major surprise when we had recently
been led to believe that a reasonable expectation would be for the English version of the
Panel’s final report to be available by the end of March 2009 with the final published
report to be available by the end of June 2009.
The revised length of the MGP JRP environmental impact review process is now
significantly longer than that originally set out in the Agreement and the investment of
time and resources has to date been much greater than had been anticipated as being
necessary for this review.
We wish to assure Panel members that the efforts they have expended in responding to
the difficult and complex task they were assigned is appreciated as is their diligence in
meeting that challenge. We are also confident that the Panel will produce a quality final
We therefore consider it important to set out our current expectations of the Panel in
accordance with the Agreement:
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1. We suggest that the Panel make every effort to issue its final report in two phases;
a “Decision” document by March 31st, 2009, to be followed by Supplementary
Documents by August 31st, 2009.
The “Decision” document should set out the Panel’s decision, including brief
reasons and identify any mitigation measures recommended by the Panel
regarding the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project. It is not an uncommon practice
for an administrative tribunal to set out a decision and to follow up with more
explanation and detail at a later date. This approach will provide the Panel with a
means of communicating its decision with respect to the proposed project early
without the need to wait for all documents to be produced.
We believe this is a reasonable approach to maintain a schedule that will see the
Panel’s recommended decision and measures released by March 31, 2008 but still
allow the additional time necessary for the Panel to complete the text fully
describing the reasons behind its recommended decision and mitigation measures.
2. We confirm that the parties will be responsible for, and make arrangements for,
all translation and production requirements of both the final “Decision” and
Supplementary Documents through the Northern Gas Project Secretariat, once
these documents are received from the Panel.
The cooperation of the Panel would be appreciated.
Last but not least we want to wish you and the other Panel members all the best of the
season. We look forward to following up on the progress of the Panel early in the New
Mr. Frank Pokiak, Chair
Inuvialuit Game Council
Mr. Richard Edjericon, Chairperson
Mackenzie Valley Environmental
Impact Review Board
C. Northern Gas Project Secretariat
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