Media Statement: January 15, 2015
Andrew Weaver Submits Final Round of Questions on Trans Mountain Pipeline
For Immediate Release
Victoria B.C. – Today, Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party, submitted nearly 100 additional question to Trans Mountain as a part of the second and final round of intervenor Information Requests in the National Energy Board hearings on Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain oil pipeline.
The second round of Information Requests marks the final opportunity intervenors will have to test the evidence submitted by Trans Mountain in its proposal. Dr. Weaver’s questions focus on human health risks associated with the project and follow-up on his previous questions relating to the risks, impacts and response capacity associated with a potential oil spill.
“I continue to engage in this process because I believe it’s important to give a voice to my constituents and to British Columbians who worry that their concerns are being ignored,” says Andrew Weaver. “However, I remain deeply concerned that the process itself is fundamentally flawed.”
In the first round of Information Requests, Dr. Weaver submitted nearly 500 questions, while the roughly 400 intervenors collectively submitted over 10,000 questions. Over 2000 of the responses they received from Trans Mountain were officially challenged by intervenors as being inadequate. The National Energy Board (NEB) only ruled in intervenors’ favour in fewer than 5% of the instances, raising significant concerns about the integrity of the process.
“Many of the answers I received in the first round simply didn’t answer the questions I asked,” says Andrew Weaver. “The lack of substantive response from Trans Mountain and the lack of support from the NEB showed a disregard for the essential role that intervenors play in the hearings.”
Intervenors have been increasingly critical of the hearing process, noting that the absence of oral cross-examination has seriously undermined their ability to receive answers to even the most basic questions about the pipeline proposal.
In light of escalating issues with the process, Andrew Weaver continues to call on the B.C. Government to pull out of the Environmental Assessment Equivalency Agreement that it signed with the Federal Government and hold its own, independent hearing process.
“Until the B.C. government reclaims the province’s right to have its own made-in-BC hearing process, actively participating in the NEB hearings is the only way we have to properly represent British Columbians’ concerns and examine the Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal.”
Click here to see the questions submitted to the National Energy Board.
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
1 250 216 3382
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