The National Energy Board as Intermediary Between the Crown, Aboriginal Peoples, and Industry
Recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions have forced the National Energy Board to reconsider itsresponsibilities with respect to Aboriginal peoples. This has impacted the Board's ability to clearly articulate its policies and procedures, specifically in the area of consultation with Aboriginal peoples, as the legal standard for consultation seems to change from year to year and stakeholders on all sides of the regulatory process press the Board to interpret these legal requirements in a way that suits their interests best. This article outlines challenges facing the Board with respect to consultation with First Nations and identifies strategies through which it has attempted to address them. Specifically, it describes the Board's policies on consultation and its administrative response to the MacKemie Valley pipeline regulatory review. The article assesses the viability of these strategies in light of challenges the Board is likely to face in the near future.
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