The National Energy Board (NEB) has asked the Aboriginal Intervenors in the Energy East project to indicate whether they will wish to provide oral traditional evidence.
“Aboriginal groups have an oral tradition for sharing stories, lessons and knowledge from generation to generation. The NEB is committed to hearing from Aboriginal groups in a way that respects their values and traditions,” said NEB Chair and CEO, Peter Watson.
The NEB notes that collecting relevant information early from Aboriginal Intervenors is an opportunity to identify and increase understanding of the perspectives of Aboriginal groups in relation to Energy East. Due to the unique nature of oral traditional evidence, it is not dependent on the timing of any other hearing process steps.
Aboriginal Intervenors have been asked to inform the NEB, by August 13, 2015, if they would like to provide their oral traditional evidence. With that information, the NEB says that it will be able to adequately plan timing and locations to hear the evidence. Taking part in this early oral traditional evidence process would not limit future participation, if and when a public hearing is determined.
Some early responses from Aboriginal participants indicate a strong scepticism about the NEB Energy hearing process but a willingness to participate nonetheless.
The NEB used the opportunity to provide a list of the approved Aboriginal intervenors. The full list of approved participants will be issued in the coming weeks as the NEB finalizes its assessment of the applications to participate received.
The NEB cannot determine the project application to be complete until it has assessed the future amendments expected from TransCanada in the last quarter of 2015. If the application is found to be complete, the NEB will issue a hearing order, which would provide details on the public hearing process.
Manning Environmental Law is a Canadian law firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Our practice is focussed on environmental law, energy law and aboriginal law.
Paul Manning is a certified specialist in environmental law. He has been named as one of Canada’s leading Environmental Lawyers by Who’s Who Legal: Canada and ranked by Lexpert as one of Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers.