National Energy Board should stop restricting access to Kinder Morgan hearings, says NDP environment critic

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VICTORIA – The National Energy Board is shutting out important voices by limiting the scope and depth of participation in the Joint Review Panel hearings on the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, say the New Democrats.

“The National Energy Board should not be restricting British Columbians’ opportunities to voice their concerns about the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal,” said New Democrat environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert. “With the NEB expanding deadlines, this is the perfect opportunity for them to also expand the process.

“Instead, they’re rejecting businesses, academics, non-profits, and members of the general public. It’s undemocratic, unacceptable, and wrong.

“The B.C. Liberals should be standing up for the British Columbians who have been excluded by this process and ensuring that the people of this province are heard. But instead, they’ve been silent and nowhere to be found.”

Chandra Herbert was commenting today on a letter he sent to the secretary of the National Energy Board expressing serious concerns about the scope and limitations they have placed on the Joint Review Panel proceedings.

These limitations include restricting the number of people allowed to participate, as well as limiting the depth of how those who have been approved to participate may do so. Chandra Herbert said that the federal government has also played a major role in limiting the scope of participation, adding that they have not allowed room in the hearings for discussion of issues like climate change.

“Limiting public participation and silencing the voices of our province should not be allowed to happen. That’s why I’m calling on the NEB to broaden participation in the hearings, allow the previously rejected applicants to present, and give presenters the opportunity to undertake verbal cross-examination.”

Letter to the NEB from Spencer Chandra Herbert