Canadians Ask Supreme Court to Uphold Public Voice in Pipeline Decisions
A group of landowners, business owners, academics, and others has filed a constitutional challenge with the Supreme Court of Canada, claiming that the National Energy Board’s restrictions on public participation hamper discussions of climate change and upstream oil and gas activities.
“The NEB’s claim that it cannot consider scientific evidence regarding the long-term impacts of the export of bitumen is simply wrong,” said legal counsel David Martin. The purpose of the court challenge “is to ask the court to direct the NEB to do its job properly.”
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He added that the NEB “is making a misguided choice to adopt an unconstitutionally narrow interpretation of its jurisdiction so as to avoid having to address the real competing public interests that pipeline approval applications necessarily entail.”
DeSmog Canada cites Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline as an example of a project where citizens were impeded from discussing climate change.
“Over 468 individuals were prevented from participating in the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline hearing process in April 2014,” Linnitt writes. “A group of 27 climate experts were prevented from participating on the basis that they wanted to discuss the implications of the project for Canada’s climate targets.”