"There’s some concern that the decision’s already been made and that the review process is just a rubber stamp," said Bishop Michael Ingham, of the Diocese of New Westminster. "I think what we’re trying to do is call upon the panel itself to resist pressure — political pressure, industry pressure — and to come to a fair, balanced and thorough set of recommendations."
Ingham signed the statement, which he said was prompted by bishops being inundated with concern for the process from members of their dioceses.
"Recent public statements by various officials of the federal government, including the announcement last week of the streamlining of environmental assessment reviews, have raised concerns that NEB (National Energy Board) hearings may become subject to improper time constrictions and industry influence," said the bishops’ statement.
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