first_img“When people are talking to me about conspiracy theories about Canada is going to push this thing through, with or without us – it didn’t matter, I didn’t want to believe that but now I’m starting to think, ‘maybe there is some truth to that,’” says Chief Sam.The group now claim to have proof federal authorities knew the review process of the project was flawed and approved it anyway.“We could have used this to confirm what we’ve been saying for the past four years – that Canada’s process is nowhere near what the courts have been saying should be in place,” explains Chief Sam.- Advertisement -He says e-mails obtained through a freedom of information request show concerns raised by Environment Canada employees about the consultation process being seriously flawed were ignored.“Their staff people, they’re tasked with doing the actual on-the-ground work are telling them, ‘Look, we don’t think this is right – we think there’s going to be problems here,” says Chief Sam.The pipeline opponents are still hoping they can introduce the four-year-old documents in a pending court battle this October, but the Chief concedes that may not be the case.Advertisement It received federal government approval last June, albeit subject to more than 200 conditions, as recommended by the National Energy Board’s Join Review Panel.At that time, Prince George-Peace River MP Bob Zimmer issued a statement saying, “Our government based this decision on independent scientific analysis, which demonstrated that this project is a net benefit to Canada.” “We did miss the deadline for submissions and affidavits regarding it,” Chief Sam goes on to explain. “Four years; we could have used it in the joint review panel itself and now that it’s too late to use it in court, it’s just – that’s why I think the timing of it is suspicious.”He suspects the release of the documents was deliberately delayed until the multi-billion dollar Enbridge project had already been approved.Federal officials have yet to comment, saying the matter is before the courts.The controversial twin pipeline would run from Bruderheim, northeast of Edmonton, to Kitimat and across the Alberta-B.C. border on a line south of Grande Prairie and Tumbler Ridge – north of Prince George.Advertisementlast_img read more