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Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel


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Newsletter November 2012 - Volume 6

Newsletter November 2012 [PDF 1207 KB]

Process Update


The Final Hearings for Questioning began on 4 September in Edmonton, AB, and moved to Prince George, BC on 9 October. Prince George hearings will continue to November 29th followed by hearings in Prince Rupert. The Panel recognizes that additional time for questioning will need to be added to the schedule. A revised schedule will be released by November 15th.

Letters of Comment

The deadline for the submission of letters of comment was 31 August 2012. The public has shown significant interest in submitting letters of comment. Letters of comment are no longer being accepted, but you can review the letters that were submitted on the public registry.

Oral Statements

The deadline for registered participants to schedule their oral statements in Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna was 30 September 2012. Scheduling is now closed. The Panel will begin hearing oral statements in these locations in January 2013. The Panel has heard approximately 725 oral statements to date.

Key Steps in Hearing Process

What are the final hearings for questioning and how are they being organized?

The purpose of the questioning phase of the final hearings is to allow Parties (i.e. the Applicant, Intervenors and Government Participants) to ask any outstanding questions in order to test the credibility of the evidence filed on the record. Questioning of the evidence will help to ensure that the Panel has the most complete information before making its recommendations on the proposed project.

The Final Hearings for Questioning are being held in three (3) different locations in the project area. The Panel has chosen to conduct the Final Hearings for Questioning on an issues-basis. This means that different issues are discussed in each hearing location. The Panel announced its decision on this approach after receiving feedback from Parties at a Procedural Conference held on 30 May 2012. The issue-based approach means that some Parties may appear at more than one hearing location if they have questions to ask or answer on multiple issues.

The table below summarizes the groups of issues discussed at each hearing location. For a more detailed list, please see Procedural Direction #8.

Location Issues
Edmonton, AB

4-8 September

17-28 September
  • Economic need for the project
  • Potential impacts of the project on commercial interests
  • Financial and tolling matters
Prince George, B.C.

9-19 October

29 October-9 November

22-29 November
  • Environmental effects associated with the pipeline
  • Socio-economic effects associated with the pipeline
  • Potential impacts on landowners and land use
  • Routing
  • Design and construction of the pipeline and marine terminal
  • Operations, safety, accident prevention and response related to the pipeline
Prince Rupert, B.C.

10-18  December
  • Potential impacts of the project on Aboriginal rights and interests
  • Environmental effects associated with the marine terminal, and marine shipping
  • Socio-economic effects associated with the marine terminal and marine shipping
  • Operations, safety, accident prevention and response related to the marine terminal and marine transportation
  • Engagement and consultation

Looking Forward

In the new year, the Panel will continue the Community Hearings for Oral Statements in the three remaining locations: Victoria, Vancouver, and Kelowna B.C. The Panel will also complete the questioning phase of the Final Hearings.

Following this, the Panel will hear final argument. The purpose of final argument is to provide all parties with the opportunity to:

  • Tell the Panel their views and opinions about the Project;
  • Persuade the Panel to recommend approval or denial of the Project;
  • Argue about the relevance and weight of any evidence on the public record that is before the Panel; and
  • Discuss or suggest the terms and conditions that the Panel may direct and would apply to any Certificate that may be issued for the Project.

The report from the Joint Review Panel will be issued by December 31, 2013.

Tips for the parties participating at the final hearing for questioning

If you are asking questions of another Party, here are some tips that you may find helpful as you prepare your questions:

  • Be familiar with the information that is on the record and what questions have already been asked. If you ask questions that have already been addressed adequately, the Panel may ask you to move on to your next question.
  • The purpose of the final hearings is to test the evidence on the record. It is not an opportunity for you to learn what is on the record. Be familiar with the evidence that has been filed and ask questions that will test it and clarify any points you are uncertain about.
  • You can only ask questions of a a Party’s witness panel on the evidence which that Party has filed. This means you should typically not ask a Party questions about evidence that another Party has filed.
  • Aids to cross examination should only be used when necessary. Procedural Directions #9 (page 5) and #11 contains information on the use of aids to cross examination. Please remember to send a copy of any aids to cross examination to both and the Party you are questioning in advance of asking questions.
  • Your views and opinions on the project and on the answers you receive to your questions should be saved for the final argument stage of the hearings.
  • It is not appropriate for you to argue with a witness if you do not agree with the answer they have provided.
  • Please remember to send the exhibit numbers and adobe page numbers of any evidence you plan to refer to during questioning to This information is required before you start asking your questions.
  • It is not necessary to read lengthy passages of evidence that is already submitted onto the record as it will be displayed on the screen in the hearing room. Similarly, if you are answering a question, you do not need to read passages from evidence, but can instead elaborate on what has already been submitted.
  • Please review Procedural Directions #8, 9, 10 and 11 prior to the hearings, and contact the Process Advisory Team if you have any questions.

The Process Advisory Team will be available in the hearing room before and during the hearing sessions to answer any questions you might have about the joint review process.

Questions about the Joint Review Process

The Process Advisory Team is available to answer questions about the joint review process and how to participate. You can contact the Process Advisory Team at:

Toll-Free: 1-866-582-1884

You can also sign up for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Project Mailing List to receive periodic email updates on key steps in the joint review process. Just send your name and email address to

From left to right: Kitkatla harbour, oral evidence hearing, oral evidence presenter












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