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Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel


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Newsletter August 2012 - Volume 5

Newsletter August 2012 [PDF 608 KB]

The Joint Review Panel is an independent body mandated to review and make recommendations on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.

Process Update

The Panel has completed the community hearings scheduled for oral evidence and oral statements from registered participants in locations near the proposed project area. Below are some quick facts about the hearings to date:

Community Hearings for Oral Evidence

  • During the community hearings for oral evidence, more than 380 witnesses provided oral evidence to the Panel on behalf of 64 intervenors.
  • The Panel visited 16 communities in BC and Alberta during the collection of oral evidence.
  • Approximately 3,000 pages of written transcripts have been produced. All of the transcripts are available on the public registry.

Final Hearings

  • The Panel held a procedural conference on 30 May 2012 to discuss the process for the final hearings with intervenors, government participants and the applicant.
  • Parties have identified the names of their witnesses and which witnesses from other Parties they intend to question.
  • The final hearings will begin on 4 September 2012 in Edmonton, AB.

Doug Brown, Reverend Matthew Hill and Kenneth Innes presenting in Prince Rupert, BC

Doug Brown, Reverend Matthew Hill and Kenneth Innes presenting in Prince Rupert, BC

Oral Statements

  • The Panel started hearing oral statements in Grande Prairie, AB on 28 March 2012.
  • The Panel has heard oral statements from approximately 725 individuals in 14 BC and Alberta communities.
  • Starting in January 2013, the Panel will hear oral statements in Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna.

Letters of Comment

  • The deadline to submit a Letter of Comment is 31 August 2012.

Kirsty Graham presenting in Comox, BC

Kirsty Graham presenting in Comox, BC

Update - Community Hearings for Oral Statements


The Panel has released the schedule for the remaining oral statement hearing sessions, including Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria for participants who do not live near the proposed project area.

Participants who registered to provide an oral statement before 6 October 2011 can schedule their presentations using the online scheduling tool.

The deadline for scheduling presentations is 30 September 2012 for all remaining hearings.

Location Dates
Victoria, BC
  • 7-11 January 2013
  • 19-22 February 2013
    (if required)
Vancouver, BC
  • 14–18 January 2013
  • 31 January, 1 February and 4 to 8 February 2013
    (if required)
Kelowna, BC
  • 28-29 January 2013

The online scheduling tool is available at

TIP: What information should be included in your oral statement?
The Panel is interested in hearing your personal knowledge and views about the Project and its potential effects. Your oral statement should describe the nature of your interest in the application and provide any relevant information that explains or supports your statement. It is also your opportunity to provide input to the Panel on whether or not you believe the Project should proceed and under what terms and conditions.

The List of Issues of the topics the Panel will consider when making its conclusions and recommendations[1] was developed at the start of the review. The Panel has previously indicated certain topics that are not included in the review as they are outside the Panel’s mandate under the Joint Review Panel Agreement, the National Energy Board Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act including:

  • Canada’s energy policy;
  • Speculative alternative projects;
  • Upstream effects including those related to the development of Alberta’s oil sands;
  • Canada’s trade policy and relationship with Asia; and
  • Other development projects that are wholly unrelated to the project.

[1] The Panel developed the List of Issues through a public consultation process, which resulted in the 19 January 2011 Panel Results and Decision Document. You can also find the list as Appendix I of the Hearing Order. Both these documents can be found on the Panel’s website at

Commenting on the issues that are outside of the Panel's mandate is not helpful to the Panel therefore it is not an effective use of the 10 minutes you have to make for your oral statement.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act - What does it mean for the Review Process?

As a result of this Act, the Joint Review Panel Agreement was amended. A copy of the revised Agreement is available on the Panel’s website at: The decision on whether or not the Project is approved will now be made by the Governor-in-Council.

Q Will the new Act affect the independence of the Panel?
A No. The Panel remains independent from government, industry and individuals or groups. The Panel will continue its independent, science-based and transparent environmental assessment and regulatory review process for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.
Q Why should I continue to participate in this review process?
A This is your opportunity to provide input to the Panel on whether or not you believe the Project should proceed and under what terms and conditions.
Q What is the role of the Joint Review Panel?

The Panel must submit a report to the Governor in Council that includes a recommendation on whether or not the Project should proceed.

The Panel’s report must include terms and conditions that the National Energy Board would impose on the project, should the government decide to approve it. Conditions are an important tool used to protect the public and the environment through the life of the Project, should the Project proceed.

Q Can the Governor in Council change the conditions put forward by the Panel?
A The Governor in Council cannot change the terms and conditions put forward by the Panel. It may, however, order the Board to reconsider any of the terms and conditions taking into account any factor specified in the order.
Q How will this Act affect the reports produced by the Panel?

Previously, the Panel was required to produce two separate reports: an Environmental Assessment Report, and a Reasons for Decision document. Under the new legislation, the Panel will produce one report that contains all the information that would have been included in the Environmental Assessment Report and Reasons for Decision. This report will include the Panel’s conclusions relating to the environmental assessment of the Project and recommendations regarding whether the Project is in the public interest.

The Report will also include terms and conditions that the applicant must implement if the Project is approved.

Q Does the Act change the timelines for the joint review process?
A No. The Panel has previously communicated that it would complete and submit its report by 31 December 2013. This aligns with the Joint Review Panel completion timeline recently announced by the Minister of the Environment and the Chair of the National Energy Board.

Key Steps in Hearing Process

Upcoming Workshops

The Process Advisory Team will be holding the following online workshops to help participants prepare for upcoming hearings.

Oral Statement Online Workshop
(for participants registered to make oral statements)

This workshop focuses on explaining the public hearing process, what to expect at the community hearings, and tips for effective oral statements. To date, eight sessions of this workshop were held between March and July 2012. The next workshop will be held closer to the hearing sessions scheduled for January and February 2013. Notices will be sent to all people who schedule their oral statement by the 30 September 2012 deadline.

The Process Advisory Team will also be available to answer questions from oral statement participants in each hearing location.

Final Hearings Online Workshops (for Intervenors and Government Participants)

These workshops will focus on participation in the questioning phase of the final hearings, including the format of the hearings, preparing to ask and answer questions, the schedule for the final hearings, and other relevant topics. These workshops will be held on the following dates:

Date Topic Daytime Sessions Evening Sessions
23 July 2012
General Overview 10:00– 1:00 am PT
(11:00–12:00 pm MT)
7:00–8:00 pm PT
(8:00–9:00 pm MT)
8 August 2012
Mini-Workshop #1:
Questioning during the Final Hearings
10:00– 1:00 am PT
(11:00–12:00 pm MT)
7:00–8:00 pm PT
(8:00–9:00 pm MT)
15 August 2012 Mini-Workshop #2:
Final Hearing Logistics
10:00– 1:00 am PT
(11:00–12:00 pm MT)
7:00–8:00 pm PT
(8:00–9:00 pm MT)
21 August 2012 Mini-Workshop #3:
Final Hearing Preparations
10:00– 1:00 am PT
(11:00–12:00 pm MT)
7:00–8:00 pm PT
(8:00–9:00 pm MT)
Details on how to access these workshops have been sent to all Parties.



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