Burnaby/Victoria – The Provincial Government of BC will intervene as the NEB National Energy Board goes through its 22 week reconsideration of the Trans Mountain/Kinder Morgan Pipeline project.
While the Province has their concerns about marine wildlife living with tanker traffic, there was also mention of the other major issue that came up when the project was stopped in its tracks. That was over consultation with First Nations.
The official release from Victoria:
The Government of British Columbia has filed its registration as an intervener to ensure that British Columbians’ interests are represented in the National Energy Board’s (NEB) reconsideration of aspects of its recommendation report on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project.
“When the Federal Court of Appeal found a failure to consider the risks of marine tanker traffic resulting from the project, and that consultation with First Nations was inadequate, the concerns we’ve consistently raised were validated,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “In registering as an intervener in this new NEB review, our focus remains on fully defending the interests of British Columbians and protecting our environment, our economy and our coast.”
Following the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision, the federal government last month announced it would refer the NEB’s recommendation report back to the NEB for a reconsideration focused on marine traffic impacts. The review is to be completed within 22 weeks.
“B.C. is concerned that the 22-week timeframe is insufficient to accommodate a thorough review, appropriate cross-examination and the time needed by Indigenous groups to fully participate,” said Heyman.
As an intervener, the B.C. government will advocate for a process that will meaningfully engage communities and Indigenous groups, provide opportunities for all citizens to be heard and demand thorough answers from the federal government as the new owner of the project. The opportunity for cross-examination is essential to properly assess the effects of increased shipping on marine life, including southern resident killer whales.
The Federal Government has directed the NEB to complete the reconsideration process and issue its resulting report no later than February 22, 2019.
The deadline for filing comments or for applying or registering to participate in the hearing, is October 3.
James Stevenson, Communications Officer with the National Energy Board told FVN that a site for the public hearing has yet to be determined, although with only a limited window to put together the federally mandated report, time is of the essence.
It is expected that the hearing would be in Burnaby, considering that the Kinder Morgan/Trans Mountain refinery is in that city.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has threatened legal action against BC, should BC impede construction of the bitumen pipeline of Alberta oil to market. Notley has also maintained that unless the project gets the green light, Alberta will not be part of the Canada Climate Plan.