Federal panel to visit six B.C. communities for Trans Mountain pipeline feedback

Group to hear comments in Alberta as well on proposed expansion

A new federal panel will be gathering more feedback about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion at town hall meetings and discussions this summer in 10 communities in B.C. and Alberta.

The three-member panel represents a new layer of federal oversight of pipeline proposals.

While the panel can’t deny the $6.8-billion project, its findings are expected to help Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government make its decision on whether to give final approval, expected by December.

The National Energy Board approved the project in May but attached 157 conditions, saying that two years of hearings and research showed Trans Mountain’s benefit to Canadians outweighs the potential problems.

The new panel said Thursday that it will meet with stakeholders in Calgary, Edmonton, Jasper, Alta., and the B.C. communities of Kamloops, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, Burnaby, Vancouver and Victoria in July and August.

Canadians are also invited to fill out an online survey and submit written comments directly to the panel by email.

Texas-based Kinder Morgan is seeking federal approval to triple capacity on the existing Trans Mountain line, which moves diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to Burnaby.

The Canadian Press