(OTTAWA) May 19, 2016 - The National Energy Board’s conditional approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project today proves that Canada’s environmental review process remains broken, said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands).
“When the Conservatives forced through omnibus bill C-38 in 2012, they gutted the Environmental Assessment Act and forced pipeline assessment authority on the NEB. The end result has been a disaster – the NEB did not allow oral cross-examination, and did not even insist that Kinder Morgan’s contractors, who conducted various studies prepared for the NEB, actually answer written intervenor questions,” Ms. May said.
“Instead, the NEB was satisfied with non-responsive replies written by Kinder Morgan lawyers. As a result, none of the evidence before the board was tested for accuracy. The whole exercise was a colossal waste of time, energy and money for all involved. I fear it’s a sign of things to come with the NEB's ongoing TransCanada Energy East pipeline hearings,” Ms. May said.
Dr. Lynne Quarmby, Green Party Science Critic, said: “Trans Mountain is opposed by the municipal governments of Vancouver, Victoria, Burnaby, North and West Vancouver, the regional government of Metro Vancouver and First Nations, who oppose the project on environmental, cultural and legal grounds. Clearly, this ill-conceived project should be rejected as not in the public interest,” Dr. Quarmby said.
Ms. May continued: “The Liberals promised to fix the environmental review process, but have so far only put in a temporary fix, a three-member panel to review the NEB’s Trans Mountain report. We must return to an independent, robust environmental assessment process for all industry projects. Anything less sets a dangerous precedent.
“An an MP granted intervenor status, I am seeking legal advice to pursue a judicial remedy for the violation of basic rights of procedural fairness and failures in assessment of evidence in the Trans Mountain review process under the NEB,” Ms. May said.
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