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Berger releases his second report

It was going to be the biggest private construction project in history. But before a pipeline could be built from the Beaufort Sea to energy-hungry markets in the south, the impact on the North's people, economy and environment had to be determined. That task was given to Justice Thomas Berger, who embarked on an extraordinary three-year odyssey across the Arctic. His report shocked the government that appointed him, and was heralded by some as "Canada's Native Charter of Rights."

Justice Berger's first report discussed the broad social, economic and environmental impacts of pipeline construction, but he has much more to say. Two months later he releases volume two of his findings. He sees no reason not to build a Mackenzie Valley pipeline after land claims are settled -- so long as the government is prepared to handle the inevitable social and environmental consequences.
. At the time Berger's second report was released, the National Energy Board, which was holding hearings of its own, released Reasons for Decision: Northern Pipelines. It largely concurred with the Berger Report. It too considered a pipeline across the Arctic from Alaska environmentally unacceptable, effectively killing the Canadian Arctic Gas proposal. The report favoured a pipeline following the "Alcan Route" down the Alaska Highway into the southern Yukon and into Western Canada.

. A few days later Canada's Alaska Highway Pipeline Inquiry, or Lysyk Commission, filed its report on a pipeline from Alaska through the Yukon. It also looked at the social and economic impacts of pipeline construction. The commission recommended advance payment towards native land claims and the establishment of a planning and control agency.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: July 29, 1977
Reporter: John Blackstone
Duration: 1:31

Last updated: January 20, 2012

Page consulted on December 5, 2013

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