Mackenzie Valley pipe dream

The Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline has been in the works since forever... it's the fundamental case upon which large environmental assessments have been modeled after in Canada and the Berger Inquiry was an epic formation of its time (the 1970s). It was reported that new Environment Minister Peter Kent did his own reporting on the Inquiry and a television clip was recently played of this journalism (he's known about environmental issues himself for quite a while).

Thomas Berger's Inquiry created a moratorium on the Pipeline proposal for ten years to deal with Aboriginal land. Years of delays and assessments after that has meant that the Pipeline was still never built. Now Kent and his colleagues in Cabinet have approved that same Pipeline, CBC has reported. However, they put in a stipulation of no government subsidies meaning the economics of it all still might not work. We don't know if it will ever be built (and at this time, the gas would be used more for tar sands development than its original purposes).

More and more, economics has been driving development over environmental considerations - and in some cases, it can be a much stronger force in stopping a project that has negative environmental consequences. Either way, the Pipeline and its case - whether it will be built or not - still has the prints of Berger all over it. His report has certainly outlived Canada's annually changing role of environment minister.