At least one intervenor in the National Energy Board review of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline has thrown in the towel, quitting a process she says is a sham.
Economist and former ICBC president Robyn Allan says the hearing is “rigged.”
“In this hearing Kinder Morgan’s needs have been met and intervenors and the general public’s aren’t. There is a bias towards the applicant.”
Allan says the NEB constantly sides with Kinder Morgan, doesn’t allow it to answer intervenor’s questions, and it also won’t let those intervenors cross examine witnesses.
“I do believe it is pre-determined they they recomment approval of the project. I do at this stage.”
Allan says the NEB is not giving both sides a level playing field.
“One of the major tenets is it be fair and balanced by a third party by an independent regulator. The NEB is not independent. It is making decisions in the scope of its responses to notice of motions, in Kinder Morgan’s failure to actuall have the right route, they had to go back and go through Burnaby mountain. The board facilitated that and lengthened the review hearing but when intervenors came forward and said we need more tine the board said no.”
Allan says she cannot continue with a process that does not allow cross examination of witnesses or even take into account the pipeline system as a whole.
“They are not looking at what happens when English Bay and Burrard inlet are turned into parking lots for oil tankers. They are also not looking at the system. Kinder Morgan has a 60 year old pipeline. It has tank farms on Burnaby mountain. It has a marine facility. None of those facilities are being reviewed in this hearing.”
She says to exclude the system as a whole “from a professional risk analysis this is ludicrous.”