Citizens shut out of Kinder Morgan hearings: GSA reacts

April 2, 2014

VANCOUVER – Today the National Energy Board (NEB) denied nearly half of those who applied to take part in its upcoming review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion their preferred method of participation.

Of the 2,118 applications received, 452 were ‘downgraded’ by the NEB from intervenor to commenter status, and 468 were denied participation altogether. In addition, 400 were granted intervenor status and 798 who requested commenter status were granted it.

Commenting on the NEB’s decision, Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director of Georgia Strait Alliance said:

“It’s a sad day for democracy in Canada, when nearly a thousand people who stepped up to take part in a complex regulatory process to have their say about a project of national significance are shut out of the hearings.”

“The NEB hearings are a chance for citizens to formally set out to decision makers how the pipeline expansion will affect them, and hold Kinder Morgan to account over its plans to protect BC’s environment, communities and economy. Today, citizens have been denied that opportunity.”

“We are pleased that Georgia Strait Alliance has been granted permission by the NEB to fully participate in the hearings as an intervenor, and we will use this as an opportunity to represent the voices of those who have been excluded.”

During an application process earlier this year, participants were asked to choose whether they wanted to be an intervenor, a status which provides an opportunity to speak at public hearings and ask questions of Kinder Morgan, or submit a letter of comment to the NEB, which the NEB has stated may not be given the same weight as intervenor testimony.

Formed in 1990, Georgia Strait Alliance is the only citizens’ group working to protect and restore the marine environment and promote the sustainability of Georgia Strait, its adjoining waters and communities, the place where 75% of British Columbians live, work and play.

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For more information, contact:
Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director
Georgia Strait Alliance
(604) 862-7579
christianne@georgiastrait.org

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