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Press Centre

Hundreds denied full participation in pipeline review

National Energy Board (NEB) has denied or downgraded nearly half of those who applied to take part in its upcoming review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. 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 the Georgia Strait Alliance said that “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.”

“The 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.