VANCOUVER — The mayor of a Vancouver-area city is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to suspend National Energy Board hearings into the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan sent a letter asking Trudeau to put the review on hold while the federal government implements promised amendments to the way the regulator evaluates projects.
“I am now writing to request that the amendments be expedited to avoid perpetuation of the current, deeply flawed NEB process that the public and your government have already acknowledged is inadequate,” he wrote in the letter sent Monday.
Interveners are set to present their final arguments at hearings starting next week on Kinder Morgan’s US$5.4-billion proposal to triple the capacity of its existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby.
RCMP officers and protesters on Burnaby Mountain on Nov. 21, 2014. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/CP)
Critics have condemned changes the previous Conservative government made to the board’s review process, including setting time limits for hearings and assessments and limiting who can participate.
Trudeau promised in June to engage in a “new open process” for all pipelines, including analysis of upstream impacts and greenhouse gas emissions.
He also said in August that a Liberal government overhaul of the NEB process would apply to existing pipelines and that the Trans Mountain expansion review “needs to be redone.”
Burnaby Coun. Sav Dhaliwal said the city was disappointed that little progress had been made on these promises.
“We are very concerned that the federal government has not really taken their commitment seriously.”