Yesterday I submitted a motion to the National Energy Board asking it to compel Trans Mountain to provide full and adequate responses to my second and final round of questions in the hearing process.
The complete 2015-02-26 – MLA Weaver Motion on Adequacy of IR 2 Answers submission raises a number of key issues. Three examples serve to illustrate the additional information we are seeking.
The press release that we issued at the time is reproduced below.
Media Statement: February 27, 2015
MLA Weaver: Unanswered questions remain after final responses from Trans Mountain
For Immediate Release
Victoria B.C. – Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party has submitted a motion to the National Energy Board (NEB), asking it to compel Trans Mountain to provide full and adequate responses to his second and final round of questions in the hearing process.
Dr. Weaver is challenging roughly a third of the nearly 100 questions he submitted. He put forth his motion on the basis that the answers were incomplete or did not respond to his question.
“While there’s no doubt that overall the answers I received this time around were more substantive than last time, it’s still disappointing that in a number of cases I failed to receive full and adequate responses to basic questions about the Trans Mountain proposal,” says Andrew Weaver. “I submitted this motion because my constituents are concerned about increased tanker traffic just offshore of our riding and they deserve answers.”
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.
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.
During the first round, Dr. Weaver challenged roughly a third of the answers he received to his nearly 500 questions. Intervenors collectively challenged more than 2000 answers with the NEB ruling in intervenors’ favour fewer than 5% of the time.
“I have concerns that this whole hearing process is being treated as a box-ticking exercise. In the first round of questions, I didn’t receive substantive answers to many of my questions and the NEB didn’t seem particularly interested in supporting us to ensure we received full and complete responses. I hope that this time it is different. “
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.
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
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