The National Energy Board has refused to require Enbridge to use pressurized water to test its Line 9 pipeline running from Sarnia to Montreal before expanding its flow volumes by 25 percent and adding diluted bitumen to its product mix.
By Don McLean
Published June 16, 2015
An increasingly discredited federal regulator is poised to okay shipment of tar sands bitumen through Hamilton in a 40-year-old pipeline that experts say is 90 percent certain to rupture and despite demands from the province of Ontario and the cities of Montreal and Toronto for a standard safety test.
The National Energy Board has refused to require Enbridge Inc to use pressurized water to test its Line 9 pipeline running from Sarnia to Montreal before expanding its flow volumes by 25 percent and adding diluted bitumen to its product mix.
The Hamilton 350 Committee calls on Hamilton City Council, provincial MPPs and federal representatives to urge the NEB to respect aboriginal treaty rights and not permit use of Line 9 until after the court challenge is concluded. We urge them to also support the reasonable requests for a hydrostatic pressure test of Line 9 and the installation of shut-off valves on either side of the pipe's stream crossings to reduce the threat to our drinking water supplies and the natural environment.
The evidence that the National Energy Board is broken and discredited is extensive. It includes:
A public declaration of non-confidence in the NEB issued by the mayors from Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, City of North Vancouver, Victoria, Squamish and Bowen Island. They are requesting that the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline be put on hold until the significant deficiencies in the NEB's public hearing and review process are corrected.
Public accusations last month by Robyn Allan, the former President and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Vice-President Finance for Parklane Ventures Ltd., and Senior Economist for B.C. Central Credit Union.
She stated that the NEB "is not an impartial referee. The game is rigged; its outcome pre-determined by a captured regulator. The NEB's integrity has been compromised. Its actions put the health and safety of the Canadian economy, society and environment in harm's way."
Public accusations by Marc Eliesen, the former head of BC Hydro and a past deputy minister of energy in seven provincial and federal governments who called the NEB hearings "a public deception" and a farce.
He contended the current NEB decisions "reflect a lack of respect for hearing participants, a deep erosion of the standards and practices of natural justice that previous Boards have respected, and an undemocratic restriction of participation by citizens, communities, professionals and First Nations."
Evidence exposed in the Mike Duffy trial that the federal government used the discredited former Senator to interfere on behalf of Enbridge in the Line 9 application review process.
The continued refusal of the NEB to examine the climate change impacts of the pipelines and other projects it reviews, despite hundreds of requests to do so including one last month from 60 organizations.
The fate of Hamilton's streams and drinking water should not be left to a discredited federal regulator.
On July 5 at 1pm, join the March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate.
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