Today I formally submitted a letter expressing my support for three motions. Here is the text of my letter.
April 23, 2014
National Energy Board (“NEB”)
444 Seventh Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2P 0X8
Attention: Sheri Young, Secretary of the NEB
Dear Ms. Young:
Hearing Order OH-001-2014
File OF-FAC-OIL-T260-2013-03 02
Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC (“Trans Mountain”)
Application for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (the “Project”)
I am writing this letter to express my support for,
1. Notice of Motion (A3V9I5) submitted on April 17, 2014 by the Living Oceans Society and Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Notice of Motion (A3V9Q6) submitted on April 18, 2014 by the Swinomish, Tulalip, Lummi Tribes requesting an extension of the May 2, 2014 deadline for Intervener Round 1 by a minimum of 45 days to June 16, 2014, and
2. Notice of Motion (A3V8U7) submitted on April 14, 2014 by Robyn Allan requesting an amendment to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project Hearing Order OH-001-2014 to include an oral cross-examination.
I support the arguments made by the movers of each of the Notice of Motions as well as the valid arguments made by NSNOPE (A3V9J9) and the Cowichan Tribes (A3V9Q8) in their submissions to the National Energy Board.
In terms of the Motions to extend the Intervener Round 1 by 45 days, it cannot be expressed clearly enough that the timelines set out in this process are unnecessarily aggressive, unfair and they bias the applicant.
30 days does not provide individuals, such as myself, the opportunity to adequately review the 15,000-page application.
Additionally, the National Energy Board (NEB) took 107 days from the time the applicant submitted the application on December 13, 2013 to the time you determined the application was complete on April 2, 2014 , yet the NEB is providing interveners only 30 days to review the same material and form a thoughtful response.
Should the NEB not provide the extension, you run the risk of losing the confidence in the process by the people whose interest it is supposed to protect, the people of British Columbia and Canada.
In terms of the Motion to include oral cross-examination I believe in order to maintain the public confidence in the evidence that has been submitted that it must stand the test of inquiry and probing.
As it is currently established the NEB is undermining its own process. For example a great deal of information used to form the position of the Government of British Columbia on the Northern Gateway pipeline project was learned through oral cross-examination.
It is unfortunate the applicant, through their lawyers, has argued against the addition of oral cross-examination in their submission to the NEB (A3V9Z7). I would have expected the proponent to encourage as fulsome and exhaustive process as possible to ensure they and the NEB earned the social license of their project.
In order to maintain public confidence in this process the NEB and the applicant should support a full and transparent process and that includes oral cross-examination of the evidence submitted.
Thank you for accepting this letter of support. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.