NEB hearing process announced - Public Info session Tues Apr. 9

The terms for participation in the National Energy Board hearings have just been announced.

You have to apply even if you only want to write a letter of any kind concerning Line 9. The application (here) is 10 pages long. The full document which provides explanations is here. You have less than 2 weeks, until April 19th, to submit your application

The NEB has agreed to hold an info session in Durham. This is strictly about process but as you can see from below the NEB has made the process an issue in itself:

Tuesday, April 9, 7pm
Ajax Town Hall - Council Chambers

click here for more info

Applications to participate may be submitted electronically through the NEB website but must be in pdf format. 

Your application does not guarantee that they will hear you:

the following is extracted from: (http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rthnb/pblcprtcptn/pblchrng/pblchrng-eng...)

the Board will hear from the people who stand to be directly impacted by a proposed project, and may hear from those who have information and expertise that could help the hearing panel gain a greater understanding of a given matter under consideration.

The changes to the Act are intended to promote fairness and efficiency by ensuring Board hearings can take place in a timely manner.

Directly Affected Person:

The Board must hear from any person who, in the Board’s opinion, is directly affected by the granting or refusing of a project application. The Board decides on a case-by-case basis which are the people who are directly affected.

The Board may consider these factors when making this decision:

1. The nature of the person’s interest.

  • Whether a person has a specific and detailed interest, rather than a general public interest.
  • Examples of interests that could support participation are:
    • commercial, property or other financial interest (including employment);
    • personal use and occupancy of land and resources; or
    • use of land and resources for traditional Aboriginal purposes.

2. Whether the granting or refusing of a project application causes a direct effect on the person’s interest.

  • The degree of connection between the project and the interest.
  • The likelihood and severity of harm a person is exposed to.
  • The frequency and duration of a person’s use of the area near the project.

Relevant Information or Expertise:

The Board may choose to hear from any person who, in the Board’s opinion, has relevant information or expertise.

The Board may consider these factors when deciding if a person has relevant information:

  • the source of the person’s knowledge (for example, local, regional or Aboriginal);
  • the extent to which the information is within the project scope and related to the list of issues; and
  • how much value the information will add to the Board’s decision or recommendation.

The Board may consider these factors when deciding if a person has relevant expertise:

  • the person’s qualifications (for example, the person has specialist knowledge and experience);
  • the extent to which the person’s expertise is within the project scope and related to the list of issues; and
  • how much value the information will add to the Board’s decision or recommendation.

The applications asks you for all the above information as well as the information you intend to present... so if they don't like what you're going to present, they can simply refuse to hear it.

There are 2 levels to participation

  1. intervenor - you get to participate in the public hearings. You can ask questions and others can question you. There is intervenor funding available to a toal of $200,000 for all participants. Funding is prioritized with lawyers, experts and travel having the highest priority. Funding is a separate application.
  2. commenter - you get to write a letter

On the application, you need to choose one or the other. It is not clear whether if you fail to qualify as an intervenor, that they will automatically consider if you would be allowed commenter status.