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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 14, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Thursday, March 14, 1974 THE LETHBRIOQE HERALD 25 Mandatory environment review of projects effective April 1 Herald Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA The federal government's new mandatory environmental assessment and review procedure goes into effect April 1 and will apply to all projects that are either funded by Ottawa or require federal approval, Environment Minister Jack Davis revealed Wednesday. Special environmental review panels of "technical people, sensitive to the environment" and mostly from within the department will be established within the next few weeks by the environment department to screen all of these projects in the future, Mr. Davis added in an interview following a meet- ing of federal and provincial environment ministers. The review panels, some of them established on a regional basis to screen local projects, will assess the mandatory environmental research undertaken by proponents of projects and submitted to Ottawa before a project is approved, Mr. Davis added. In some instancest there would also be public hearings, Mr. Davis said. And "all the information from the panels, as far as I am concerned, will be made he added, noting that the members of the review panels are hired "to give advice" to the government on the effects of projects on the environment. Ottawa sources Wednesday said the new procedure also allows the federal environment minister to establish independent "environmental review boards" outside of the depart- ment and government, to assess the environmental impact of such large projects as major airports, dams and pipelines. Mr. Davis, in a more detailed statement on the environmental procedure scheduled for later today in the Commons, is expected to also say that the public will be given opportunity to participate in a "meaningful way" in the environmental as- sessment process. He is also expected to stress that recommendations from the government's internal review from any independent review be made public in all cases before Ottawa decides to fund or approve a project. "Of course, the government reserves the right to decide whether a project will go ahead or Mr. Davis said in an interview; The environment minister refused to be more specific on the new procedure, following the environment ministers meeting, because he said he plans to make a more detailed statement in the Commons later today on motions. Sources in Ottawa Wednesday said Mr. Davis will add the following details in his Commons statement: Project proponents, whether they be federal agencies, provinces or private interests, will be required under the new procedure to submit to Ottawa an "environmental review pre- diction detailing the possible effects of the project on the environment, including effects on humans as well as plants, animals and terrain. The project proponent will have to do research to substantiate the "environ- mental review prediction with the research results accompanying the submission. The government's environ- mental review panels, in re- viewing the project submis- sions, will seek advice inside and outside the environment department; "with the con- currence of the environment minister and the will seek advice outside the federal government, in the provinces; and will seek "inputs from relevant public groups." The conclusions of the review panels will be passed on to the responsible department, with the results to be incorporated into the project design as a pre- requisite for federal funding or approval. Information obtained in all federal environmental assess- ments will be released to the public before a decision is made to proceed with the project, "except where it is Two weeks of challenges awaits Liberal minority By KEN POLE OTTAWA (CP) When the eight-day throne speech debate ends the minority Liberal government will face more than two weeks of challenges. Before the end of the fiscal supply period, Tuesday, March 26, parliamentary rules require seven days of debate on subjects chosen by opposition parties. Government House Leader Allan MacEachen said last week that Tuesday and Friday will be opposition days, leaving five more to be allotted in the last seven days of the supply period. There was no indication which parties would speak on what issues on the two opposi- tion days this week. The rest of this week is ex- pected to be used to deal with two bills left over from the last session of Parliament. Those are the annual CNR financing bill and a Senate bill to create more national parks. Both were reintroduced Friday. The CNR bill, which has been used by the opposition to hammer at government- spending priorities, authorizes capital spending of million in 1973 and million in the first six months of 1974. The bill also authorizes the company to sign contracts for up to million in new equipment to be paid for after Jury 'can't indict Nixon9 WASHINGTON (AP) Special prosecutor Leon Jaworski takes the position that a federal grand jury cannot properly indict President Nixon even if the evidence warrants it, his office said today. Indications were that he so advised the Watergate grand jury, although his spokesmen would not discuss this point. John Barker, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said Jaworski feels the question of whether a president can legally "be indicted is substantial enough to rule out filing charges by a grand jury. 1973 Another provision allows it to borrow million for branch line construction in the 18 months ending July The bill authorizes Air Can- ada, CN's sister corporation, to arrange loans totalling million to discharge obligations due by June 30, 1974. It also approves the issue of million in debentures from July 1, 1972, to Dec. 31, 1976. ._, Both bills likely will occupy Wednesday and Thursday and possibly one day next week. Then the House will go-in to new bills, but there is no indication what these might be. The throne speech debate, which began Feb. 28, has dealt mainly with the rising cost of living and included unsuccessful Conservative and Social Credit motions of non-confidence in the government. CAMPBELL HONORED CBC producer Norman Campbell has been awarded the Celia award by the National Ballet of Canada for his outstanding contribution to ballet. contrary to the public interest." Mr. Davis told reporters he expects the in- formation will be released "in 99 out of 100 cases." The final decision on each project will rest with the re- sponsible federal minister or cabinet. The federal environment minister "in special cases" may establish an independent Environmental Review Board outside the department or government. This would likely happen in cases of major and controversial airports, dams or pipelines. Alberta's unemployment 'lowest' (CP) Alberta had the lowest provincial unemployment rate in Canada in February, Labor Minister Bert Hoholas told the legislature. There were persons unemployed in February, 3.5 per cent of a provincial labor force estimated at The unemployment rate was down from January's 3.6 per cent and the February, 1973, figure of 5.6 per cent, when persons were unemployed. The national unemployment rate was 6.8 per cent. Liberals reject request for cement-price inquiry By IAIN HUNTER Herald Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA Liberal MP's thwarted opposition attempts Wednesday to force the government to try to recover excess costs incurred by the B.C. cement combines case and to set up a House of Commons inquiry into possible continuing price fixing by cement companies in the province. The government members refused the unanimous consent required to approve the emergency motions put to the House by John Reynolds Delta) and Stuart Leggatt Reynolds noted that two of the seven companies fined a record for conspiracy to cut cement prices in B.C. over a 14 year period have in- creased prices again twice by the same amounts. He identified the companies in the House earlier this week as Ocean Cement and Lafarge Cement and has stated the identical price increases were announced Jan. 1 and March 1 of this year while the companies already were before the court, charged under the Combines In- vestigation Act. Reynolds Wednesday moved that the House "set up an in- quiry into these two cement companies of British Columbia to see if price fixing is still taking place in British Columbia in the cement industry." Leggatt noted that in the recently-concluded case many of the projects in which the companies were involved were public projects and that the fines imposed don't necessarily meet the public loss caused by the conspiracy. His motion called on Justice Minister Otto Lang to obtain legal advice "and thereafter commence civil proceedings to recover the loss. SAVE TODAY DURING DUNLOP FORD'S... DOLLAR FACTORY UOTA WIN A TRIP FOR TWO! TO BEAUTIFUL HAWAII. 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