The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline (NGP) is the proposed 1177 km link to bring crude bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands over to the BC coast for Asian-bound super-tankers, presenting unique risks; crossing 1000+ salmon bearing waterways, tunneling two mountains, navigating the world’s 4th most dangerous waterway along the Great Bear Rainforest, and through 30 Indigenous territories. The Joint Review Panel (JRP) is a public consultation reviewing the project in ‘a careful and precautionary manner,’ consulting citizens and Aboriginal Groups to determine NGP’s necessity, public interest, and environmental impacts, to produce recommendations. Such panels can be beneficial, however, new legislation means decision-making rests with Neoliberal-oriented Federal government who can ignore the report. Extractive industries have disproportionate access and influence over Canadian policy, so though consultations occur, the structures inhibit citizen’s capacity to contest privileged interests. Many Indigenous Peoples, citizens, municipalities, unions, scientists, and economists have denounced the JRPs legitimacy, promising legal action and vowing to fight NGP on the ground. FPIC and Deliberative Democracy were used to analyze the JRP in a political ecology framework. I argue participation is not synonymous with meaningful negotiation; participation is being included at the table but fails to define the value of input, resulting in a passive exercise of agency - relegated to tokenism or worse, spectatorship. Fairness, access and justice should be minimum standards in consultations, so preoccupations with legalism and procedures attempt to realize these standards in complex pluralistic, multicultural, post-colonial societies in practice, but fail. Legal mechanisms do not automatically provide equality and procedural elements can facilitate systemic exclusion. Relying on fair procedures then denying the results of difficult negotiations negates the worth of challenging and costly participation. Canada’s national vision must move beyond extractive capitalism; the unified opposition not viewed as adversarial, but instead legitimizing a mandate to support transitioning towards a sustainable future.