Media Statement: November 3, 2014
Made-in-BC Environmental Assessment Required for Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project
For immediate release
Victoria, B.C. – With evidence mounting that the National Energy Board hearings on the Trans Mountain pipeline has lost its legitimacy, Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party, is calling on the BC government to immediately issue the 30 day notice, required to cancel its equivalency agreement with the Federal government, and launch its own, separate, environmental assessment process.
“In the past week alone we have seen Kinder Morgan sue Burnaby residents for trespassing on parkland and one of the most credible intervenors, Marc Eliesen, fully withdraw from the hearing process,” says Andrew Weaver. “These are the latest indications that British Columbians simply do not trust the federal review process.”
Mr. Eliesen, an expert with over 40 years experience in the energy sector, including as a former board member of Suncor Energy, former CEO of B.C. Hydro, former Chair of Manitoba Hydro and deputy minister in several federal and provincial governments, issued a scathing letter to the National Energy Board outlining the reasons for his exit. His letter cites concerns that the NEB is failing to fulfill its role as an impartial, transparent review body.
This comes following months of jurisdictional disputes in the City of Burnaby and ongoing frustration expressed by other intervenors over a flawed hearing process.
As the only B.C. MLA with intervenor status in the hearings, Andrew Weaver has been among those intervenors who have been advocating for a better process.
“We have been voicing our concerns about the review process for months and every time we do we get shut down by the National Energy Board. At some stage you have to recognize that the federal process is simply stacked against British Columbians and the only way to change that is for our provincial government to step up and reclaim its right to have its own, made-in-BC hearing process.”
The June 2010 equivalency agreement signed between the federal government and province set the review process for major pipeline and energy projects under the the National Energy Board, with final approval to be determined by the federal cabinet. The equivalency agreement for the Trans Mountain project can be cancelled with 30 days notice.
“The BC government needs to stand up for British Columbians,” says Weaver. “What we need is a made-in-BC environmental assessment that is controlled by British Columbians to ensure our concerns get respected and that our questions get answered.”
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
Cell: 1 250 216 3382
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