Smithers, B.C. – Northwest B.C. residents are asking why the National Energy Board (NEB) did little to inform the public know about the registration process for public hearings into the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. Thursday is the deadline to apply to make an oral presentation to the Joint Review Panel.
“The public hearings are one of the only opportunities residents will have to voice their concerns directly to the panel,” said Friends of Wild Salmon Coordinator Pat Moss. “We are concerned that the NEB has downplayed the hearings as a way of silencing the massive public opposition to the Enbridge pipeline.”
Environmental and community organizations have been encouraging people to sign up for the hearings, which are expected to begin in early 2012. To date, they have helped over 1,000 people register for the hearings.
“It should not be the responsibility of not-for-profit organizations to ensure the public knows about the government’s consultation process,” added Moss.
The NEB’s promotions have been limited to open houses held in a few northern B.C. communities.“The NEB should have actively encouraged people to participate in the hearings. They should have been running newspaper and radio ads to ensure people were aware of the deadline,” stated Moss.Residents have until Thursday, October 6 to apply to make an oral presentation to the Joint Review Panel. Applications can be made via the Panel’s website:http://gatewaypanel.review-examen.gc.ca/efile/oralstatement.aspx
For more information, contact:
Pat Moss, Friends of Wild Salmon: 250-847-9693