The National Energy Board’s ruling won’t be the only factor it considers when it decides for or against TransMountain’s Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Environment and Climate Change minister Catherine McKenna says a ministerial panel has been struck to hear from people along the TransMountain pipeline route.
“As we said, this is about rebuilding trust in the process. This is why we have taken this step of creating a ministerial panel. Minister Carr is tasked with this panel, and also looking to make sure all the voices are heard and that also we look at the environmental impacts.”
The panel will report back to cabinet with its feedback, and that will be a part of the Federal decision for or against the pipeline.
“This is part of the process that we announced in January, the minister and I, about the need to rebuild trust in our environmental assessment processing. This is a very important step. We need to hear the voices. We need to understand the impact.”
Included in the panel is former former Tsawwassen First Nation chief Kim Baird.
Even with that effort, whatever decision the NEB makes on the TransMountain pipeline, Vancouver’s mayor is already calling it a sham.
Gregor Robertson says the NEB excluded voices of people who were impacted, ignored climate change, and economic impacts to the city.
“The entire NEB review process was flawed, and a farce. There is no confidence in the community about the ruling being based on a process that was clearly lacking.”
The Mayor says much will depend on the fine print of what the panel’s mandate is.
“Well we will see what the ministerial panel is committed to in terms of a next phase of review. I have not seen the details of it yet but we will be interested in seeing what that process will look like going forward. Hopefully it brings all the voices to the table. There were many voices shut out of the NEB review process community voices and First Nations concerns.”
Robertson says his bet is the NEB will just rubber stamp its approval for the pipeline.
It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but the NEB will likely render its decision on the TransMountain pipeline this week.