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Andrew Weaver will speak to pipeline hearing

The National Energy Board (NEB) released the list of successful applicants participating in the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project – and the list looks decidedly Green.

Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver heads a list of Green Party members including federal leader Elizabeth May, provincial interim leader Adam Olsen and Vancouver city Coun. Adriane Carr. The group make up five of 400 available intervener spots unveiled by the NEB April 2. Weaver is not only on the list, he’s on it twice, once as an MLA and as a scientist and expert in physical oceanography.

“I (feel) proud. … This is an issue people need to be concerned about,” Weaver said. “I get an opportunity to quiz Kinder Morgan on the scientific aspect, and then I can talk about property issues from the people of Oak Bay-Gordon Head.”

Selected applicants for the high-profile hearing are separated into two categories: interveners, who may present written or oral evidence and question others on their evidence, and commentators, who can only forward a single one-page letter to the board for consideration. The board will hear evidence starting in early 2015, before making a decision on whether to recommend the Kinder Morgan pipeline project to the government for approval, by the July 2, 2015 deadline. The Oak Bay coastline is on the tanker route that Weaver said would be among the areas affected by increased tanker traffic.

“It is the single most important issue of this area,” Weaver said. “I think it is critical that affected regions have representation. … This is one of the most potentially affected ridings around.”

Victoria MP Murray Rankin, who was previously part of the legal team of constitutional and environmental lawyers advising the B.C. NDP on legal strategies to stop the Enbridge Pipeline project, and fellow NDP MP Peter Julian were also both accepted as interveners. But Rankin said they would be amalgamating their positions to present “one unified voice at the hearing.”

Other successful applicants among the 400 interveners selected include the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, the Province of British Columbia, the Coldwater Indian Band and the City of Victoria among several townships and cities. First Nations groups and residents whose homes would potentially be affected by the pipeline will also intervene.

Of the 2,118 would-be applicants, 1,250 were selected as commentators. 468 applicants were rejected outright, while 452 applicants for intervener were downgraded to commentators.

The board will hear Aboriginal evidence this August and September, while formal hearings begin in January 2015.

The review panel will  recommend or reject the proposed twinning of the pipeline from Edmonton, Alta. to Burnaby, B.C., nearly tripling capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels of oil per day.

Applications opened Jan. 15, 2014 and ended Feb. 12 for the opportunity to speak at the hearing for the decision making process for the proposed pipeline expansion.

 

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