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Bernier report stalled

Stephan Burnett
Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (Mar 08/04) - God only knows why the federal government hasn't released a report on the Bernier file, said Deh Cho First Nation lawyer Chris Reid.

The federal government has had the report since Jan. 13, but has refused to make it public, he said.

The logical assumption he has made is that the report is unclear.

"It must be a little complicated, not a simple clear-cut exoneration. I suppose if it were they would have released it immediately," he said.

But the federal group is still crafting a response to the report, said Elise Dhaussey, spokeswoman for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

"It's still not available to the public," she said. "Decisions in light of the report have still not been made."

For his part, Reid said there were two versions of the report.

The first was submitted on Jan. 13, and sent back for revision, but he said he's not sure if the change was technical or substantial.