Media Statement: July 15, 2014
Weaver says NEB timeline extension creates opportunity for oral cross-examination
For Immediate Release
The National Energy Board’s extended timeline for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline hearings offers a perfect opportunity to introduce oral cross-examination into the hearing process, according to Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party.
The National Energy Board announced today that it has revised its timeline for the pipeline hearings. The new timeline will put the regular hearing process on hold for three months while Trans Mountain files supplementary information on its new pipeline corridor through the City of Burnaby.
“I support the three month extension so that the necessary information on the new route can be tabled and reviewed by the NEB and by intervenors,” says Andrew Weaver, who himself is an intervenor in the hearing process.
This three-month extension would have put the NEB’s final deadline to submit its recommendations to the Federal Cabinet right in the middle of next October’s Federal election. However, the timeline has been further extended by an added four months, pushing the decision until January 2016.
Extending the timeline for the Trans Mountain Hearing Process was debated earlier this year, when Andrew Weaver supported a motion that requested that the NEB include oral cross-examination as part of the Hearing Process.
Oral cross examination was crucial to uncovering gaps in Enbridge’s evidence during the NEB hearings on the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Unfortunately, the NEB rejected the motion on the grounds that they had to meet a legislated timeline for reviewing this project.
“Given that an extension has been granted so that new evidence can be brought forward, I hope the board will reconsider its decision on oral cross-examination,” said Weaver. “There is no replacement for questioning Trans Mountain’s evidence in person, particularly in light of the inadequate written responses that Kinder Morgan has been providing to intervenors.”
“If the Board is willing to extend the timeline so new information can be introduced by Trans Mountain, I would hope they would consider using the extended timeline so that something as essential as oral cross-examination could be introduced to test company’s evidence,” said Weaver.
Andrew Weaver is the only B.C. MLA with intervenor status in the hearings.
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
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