B.C. gov­ern­ment to in­ter­vene in Na­tional En­ergy Board re­con­sid­er­a­tion

Asian Journal - - WORLD -

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 cros­sex­am­i­na­tion 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.

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