For Immediate Release
8 May 2014
Victoria, B.C. – The B.C. Green Party is disappointed in yesterday’s ruling by the National Energy Board (NEB) against motions to include oral cross-examinations for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (Kinder Morgan pipeline).
The motions by Ms. Robyn Allan and Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich- Gulf Islands, and leader of the Green Party of Canada requested the NEB add cross-examinations to the Hearing Order, and “an opportunity be provided for all interveners, Trans Mountain, and the Board to orally question, under oath, all witnesses on the evidence they file.”
The NEB dismissed the motions, writing:
The Board is of the view that there is sufficient opportunity to probe evidence that is filed by asking and receiving answers to written information requests. If responses are not considered satisfactory, there is more than one opportunity to bring a motion to compel a further and better response. Both the evidence filed and the answers to written information requests must be sworn under oath.
Several interveners wrote to the NEB in support of Allan and May’s motions, including the City of Burnaby and City of Vancouver, in an attempt to strengthen the request. Trans Mountain opposed the motions.
“This ruling weakens any recommendations made by the NEB at the end of the process. The quality and care taken in the NEB hearings forms the foundation of the social license a future project requires to proceed,” said Adam Olsen, Interim-Leader of the B.C. Green Party. “The decisions that flow from this process potentially change the Salish Sea for ever, unfortunately the decision will be based on evidence that has not withstood the test of oral cross-examination.”
“Hopefully, expediency is not taking precedence over making the correct decision,” Olsen continued. “British Columbians and Canadians have high expectations and unfortunately the NEB’s process is falling well short.”
Adam Olsen - Interim-Leader, B.C. Green Party
NEB Ruling - May 7, 2014