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Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel

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Hearing Order Questions and Answers

Letter of Comment

Oral Statement

Intervenor

Government Participant

Information Sessions

Community and final hearings

General Questions

Participating in the joint review process

What is a Hearing Order?

A Hearing Order is a document which outlines the ways in which interested people, including members of the public and Aboriginal groups, may participate in the joint review process. The Hearing Order can be used as a reference guide as it specifies key steps and the timelines associated with the joint review process.

What are the options for participating in the joint review process?

You can participate and share your views with the Panel about the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Project by participating in the following ways:

How can I get more information about participating in the joint review process?

A Process Advisory Team is available to assist you throughout the joint review process and can be contacted toll free at 1-866-582-1884 or by email at GatewayProcessAdvisor@ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

Information sessions will be held to help the public and Aboriginal groups understand the joint review process. These sessions will also provide information and guidance on the process. Sessions will be held before community and final hearings start. You can find further details on how to participate in the Hearing Order [Filing A29152] and on the Panel's website.

The Hearing Order refers to “Parties” to the joint review process. Who are the Parties?

The Parties to the joint review process are Northern Gateway, Intervenors and Government Participants. The Parties have certain rights and responsibilities in the joint review process that other participants do not.

What if I decide to change my mind on my method of participation?

If you decide you want to participate one way and then change your mind, it is no problem, as long as the deadlines have not passed. For example, if you had decided to make an oral statement, and you then change your mind and decide you would rather submit a letter of comment, simply let the Panel know of your decision in writing so they can update the oral statement schedule. It would be up to you to then submit your letter of comment by the deadline noted in the Hearing Order. If you have views on this project, we want to hear from you and we appreciate you taking the time to either speak to us and/ or to submit a letter of comment. If you decide at a later date that you would prefer to be an Intervenor, you can also register.

If the deadline has passed for registration, you may ask the Panel if it will accept a late registration.

Will the Panel hold hearings in different locations?

Yes, the Panel will hold community and final hearings in various locations along the proposed pipeline route and in the vicinity of the marine terminals. When you register to participate in the community hearings, you will have an opportunity to indicate the location where you prefer to make your presentation.

When do I have to decide how I want to participate?

Each participation option has a deadline for either letting the Panel know how you want to participate or actually sending in your comments. The deadlines for each option are:

  • Letter of comment submission: 31 August 2012
  • Oral statement registration: 6 October 2011
  • Intervenor registration: 14 July 2011
  • Government Participant registration: 14 July 2011

Letter of Comment

What is a letter of comment?

A letter of comment is a written letter to the Panel presenting your views, knowledge or concerns regarding the Project. You do not need to register to send in a letter of comment. The deadline for submitting a letter of comment is 31 August 2012. All letters of comment are posted on the public registry.

How do I submit a letter of comment?

You can send your letter electronically, by fax or by mail. If you'd like to send your letter electronically, please use the form found on the Panel's website at www.gatewaypanel.review.gc.ca.

The form can be found under the Public Registry heading, click Submit Documents Electronically. To send your letter by mail or fax, please send it to the following address:

Secretary to the Joint Review Panel
Enbridge Northern Gateway Project
444 Seventh Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2P 0X8
Fax: 403-292-5503; Toll free Fax: 1-877-288-8803

What should I include in my letter of comment?

Your letter of comment should include your knowledge, views or concerns on the proposed Project and any information to support that view. A "letter of comment form" is available as a guide to help you. Your contact information is also required and will become public. The Panel will read all letters of comment and will take them into account in their deliberations.

If I submit a letter of comment, can I still make an oral statement?

Yes, we welcome your participation in both ways. If you submit a letter of comment before the community hearings, you are still able to register to make an oral statement. Similarly, if you make an oral statement, you are able to submit a letter of comment until the deadline outlined in the Hearing Order. Our request is that you not repeat the same information both orally and in writing. Your additional comments to us, either orally or in writing should supplement and not merely repeat the information you have previously provided.

Oral Statement

What does an oral statement involve?

An oral statement is a way to present your views, knowledge or concerns regarding the Project to the Panel in person. You will present your oral statement during one of the community hearings, and can use notes to help you. You will be asked to register to make such an oral statement. This will help the Panel ensure it plans for enough time to hear from everyone. The deadline for registering to make an oral statement is 6 October 2011.

How do I register to make an oral statement?

You can register to make an oral statement by calling 1-855-202-4559 or by completing the online form on the Panel's website at www.gatewaypanel.review.gc.ca. All the forms are listed under the Public Registry heading, click Submit Documents Electronically. You may also print off this form or write a letter which contains all the information requested on the form and either fax or mail it to the Panel at:

Secretary to the Joint Review Panel
Enbridge Northern Gateway Project
444 Seventh Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2P 0X8
Fax: 403-292-5503; Toll free Fax: 1-877-288-8803

Can I present my oral statement or oral evidence at more than one location?

No. In the interest of respecting everyone's time and delivering a fair and effective process, you will be provided with one opportunity to present your oral statement or oral evidence during the community hearings. A written transcript will be produced of the community hearings. All of these transcripts will be used by the Panel in their deliberations and will also be available on our website for review by everyone.

If I make an oral statement, will I be questioned on what I say?

Yes, you may be asked questions by the Panel and, with Panel permission, Northern Gateway and other Parties in attendance during the session. You will only be asked questions to clarify the information in your oral statement.

What kind of information can I present to the Panel in my oral presentation?

In your oral statement, you can share your knowledge, views or concerns on the Project and provide information to support those views. This is your opportunity to speak to the Panel and tell them what you want them to know about your views on the Project. The Panel will consider all views expressed in oral statements in their deliberations.

Out of respect for everyone participating in this review process, you will be stopped by the Panel Chair if you read directly from a letter of comment that was previously submitted. If you submit a letter of comment after your oral statement which repeats the views you expressed when you spoke to the Panel, it will be disregarded. For process efficiency, please avoid reading directly from any supporting documentation that you submit with your oral statement.

If you agree with the views expressed in earlier oral statements, you may adopt those views but please do so without repeating them. This will help avoid repetition and will make better use of hearing time.

How much time will I have to make my oral statement?

As guidance, the Panel does not expect oral statements to be longer than 10 minutes. If you expect your oral statement to take more time, please indicate how much time you will need when you register to make an oral statement.

I want to make an oral statement but have a job and cannot appear during the day or wait in a room for my turn to speak - will the joint review process accommodate participation at a set time, during an evening when I can be available?

The Panel will be mindful of participants' preferences when it determines the schedule for hearing oral statements during community hearings. It will try to accommodate participants as best it can. For example, the Panel may choose to hold a session in the evening so those who are working during the day can attend. When you register, you will be able to indicate your preference for afternoon, evening or Saturday sessions. However, the Panel may not be able to accommodate all requests.

I wish to make an oral statement in a language other than English or French. Will that be acceptable to the Panel?

When you submit the form to make an oral statement, please indicate the language in which you would like to make your presentation. If it is a language other than English or French, you will be expected to provide the name and contact information for an interpreter.

How will I be informed of the date for providing an oral statement?

After the deadline for registration has passed, the Panel will notify everyone who has registered of the date they are scheduled to make their presentation.

Can I attend the community hearings if I am not making an oral statement?

Yes, the community hearings are open to the public and anyone is able to attend and watch the proceedings. Written transcripts will also be produced and made available on the public registry.

Intervenor

What does becoming an Intervenor mean?

Becoming an Intervenor allows you to:

  • submit written questions, known as information requests;
  • submit evidence in written format, or with permission orally during the community hearings;
  • question other Intervenors and Northern Gateway orally at the final hearings;
  • receive all documents submitted in the joint review process including notices of motion and related materials;
  • submit notices of motion and participate in notices of motion submitted by other Parties; and
  • submit a final argument.

If you submit evidence as an Intervenor, either oral or written, you are required to respond in writing to written information requests directed to you about your evidence. You are also required to attend the final hearings if others have questions of you.

How do I register to become an Intervenor?

You can register to become an Intervenor by completing the online form on the Panel's website at www.gatewaypanel.review.gc.ca. All the forms are listed under the heading Public Registry, click Submit Documents Electronically. You may also print off this form or write a letter which contains all the information requested on the form and either fax or mail it to the Panel at:

Secretary to the Joint Review Panel
Enbridge Northern Gateway Project
444 Seventh Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2P 0X8
Fax: 403-292-5503; Toll free Fax: 1-877-288-8803

The deadline for registering to become an Intervenor is 14 July 2011.

If I register to be an Intervenor, do I have to attend every day of the hearings?

No. Intervenor participation in the community hearings is limited. You only need to attend the community hearings if you are presenting oral evidence.

You will have to attend the final hearings to be questioned on written or oral evidence that you have provided and if you want to question other Parties on their evidence. You should monitor the hearing schedule which will be posted on our website to know when these events will take place.

What if I cannot attend the hearings?

As an Intervenor, if you cannot attend the community hearings, you will not have an opportunity to provide oral evidence. You will still be able to provide your evidence in writing and participate in the information request process. If you submit written evidence, you must be available if other Parties or the Panel have questions on your evidence.

If I am an Intervenor, do I have to submit evidence and ask other Parties questions?

No, you do not have to submit evidence or ask questions if you choose not to. You can register to become an Intervenor if you only wish to receive copies of all submissions and evidence relating to the joint review process. If you do submit evidence though, Northern Gateway and other Parties will have the opportunity to ask you questions on that evidence, both orally and in writing.

Who might ask me questions?

As an Intervenor, you may be asked questions by the Panel members, Northern Gateway, or other people or groups registered as Intervenors. Government Participants can only ask you questions if they have been given permission by the Panel.

Can I submit confidential information with the Panel? Will the government see this information?

If you believe you have information which will be of value to the Panel but you do not want it to be on the public registry, you can ask the Panel to treat it as confidential information under section 16.1 of the National Energy Board Act and under section 35 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. A confidential submission is an exception to the principle of an open and transparent process, so there must be good reason for the Panel to agree to confidentiality.

If the Panel decides that it is appropriate to accept the information on a confidential basis, it will decide who will be able to see the information.

Who can register to provide oral evidence?

Intervenors can request to provide oral evidence in addition to, or instead of, written evidence. The Panel is prepared to receive the oral traditional knowledge of Aboriginal elders as oral evidence. Aboriginal elders are invited to register to provide their evidence to the Panel when they register as Intervenors. Other Intervenors can also provide oral evidence if allowed by the Panel because the evidence cannot be provided in writing.

Do I have to be an Intervenor to submit oral evidence? How and when would I submit oral evidence?

If you are a registered Intervenor, you can request permission from the Panel to present a portion of your evidence orally during the community hearings. Requests to present a portion of your evidence orally should be made at the time that you register to be an Intervenor. Generally, the Panel will allow oral traditional evidence or evidence that cannot be provided in writing to be presented orally during the community hearings. It is suggested that Intervenors should take a maximum of 3 hours to present oral evidence.

I wish to present oral evidence in a language other than English. Will that be accommodated?

When you register to be an Intervenor, please indicate the language in which you would like to present your oral evidence. If it is a language other than English or French, you will be expected to provide the name and contact information for an interpreter.

Government Participant

Who can participate as a Government Participant?

The Government Participant option is for government organizations at the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal levels. This option allows government organizations the opportunity to participate without becoming Intervenors. However, government organizations may choose any of the participation methods outlined in the Hearing Order [Filing A29152]. They can also monitor the process by accessing submitted information and listening to the hearing broadcasts.

How is the Government Participant role different than that of an Intervenor?

The following table outlines the differences between the Government Participant role and the Intervenor role:

INTERVENOR GOV'T PARTICIPANT
Must register Must register
Considered a Party Considered a Party
Receive 1 complimentary copy of transcript Receive 1 complimentary copy of transcript
Ability to submit written evidence Ability to submit written evidence; can be questioned by Panel even if no written evidence is submitted
Ability to submit information requests to any Party Ability to submit information requests to Northern Gateway; must receive prior Panel approval to question other Parties
May receive information requests from any Party on evidence and must provide response to any information requests received May receive information requests from any Party on evidence and must provide response to any information requests received
Receives all documentation relating to the review Receives all documentation relating to the review
Can be questioned on evidence during final hearings Can be questioned on evidence during the final hearings with permission of the Panel
Ability to question other Parties during final hearings on evidence that has been submitted; require prior approval of Panel to question Government Participants at final hearings Ability to question Northern Gateway during the final hearings on evidence that has been submitted; require prior approval of Panel to question other Parties at final hearings
Ability to submit motions and make submissions on motions Ability to submit motions and make submissions on motions
Ability to make final argument during the final hearings Ability to make final argument during the final hearings

Information Sessions

What information will be given at the information sessions?

The purpose of the information sessions is to provide members of the public, Aboriginal groups, governments and other interested people an opportunity to hear more about the joint review process and how people can get involved. The Panel members will not be attending these sessions. These sessions are open to anyone who has an interest in the proposed Project.

If I can't attend the information sessions, where can I get more information and ask questions about the process?

If at any time, you have questions about the process, please contact the Process Advisory Team toll free at 1-866-582-1884 or by email at GatewayProcessAdvisor@ceaa-acee.gc.ca. The material distributed at the information sessions will also be available on the Panel's website at www.gatewaypanel.review.gc.ca.

To be kept informed and receive periodic updates on the Panel's activities, you can also provide a full e-mail address to GatewayProcessAdvisor@ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

Will there be an information session in my community?

Information sessions to help explain how the joint review process will work and the participation options will be held in a number of locations including:

  • Bruderheim, AB
  • Grande Prairie, AB
  • Whitecourt, AB
  • Bella Bella, BC
  • Burns Lake, BC
  • Hartley Bay, BC
  • Kitimat, BC
  • Kitkatla, BC
  • Klemtu, BC
  • Prince George, BC
  • Prince Rupert, BC
  • Queen Charlotte City, BC
  • Smithers, BC
  • Tumbler Ridge, BC
  • Vanderhoof, BC

Further information on the information sessions will be advertised through local media and the details will also be available on the Panel's website at www.gatewaypanel.review.gc.ca.

Community and final hearings

Where will the Panel hold the community and final hearings?

Please see the Hearings page for the latest information on the locations and schedule of the community and final hearings.

If I want to attend the community and final hearings but not participate, can I come and listen?

Yes. All community and final hearings are open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend. You may also listen from home over the Internet. Instructions on how to connect to the broadcast will be posted on the Panel's website under Hearings at a later date.

General Questions

How do I get a copy of the application, or parts of it?

The Enbridge Northern Gateway Project application can be found on the public registry on the Panel's website. The application is also available online at the Northern Gateway Pipelines website (www.gatewaypanel.review.gc.ca). For a list of other locations where you can view the application, please see the Hearing Order [Filing A29152], Appendix III.

Is an email considered an electronic submission?

No. The sender of emails cannot always be verified and for that reason emails are not considered electronic submissions and are not accepted by the Panel.

What is evidence and what sort of evidence can be submitted?

Evidence refers to reports, statements, photographs, and other material or information that supports the view you are presenting. If you submit evidence, you will be asked to confirm that it is accurate to the best of your knowledge. You may be asked questions about the creation or the source of your evidence.

What is an information request?

An information request is a written question that is sent to another Party asking for additional information about or clarification of evidence that has already been submitted. The Panel, Northern Gateway and all Intervenors can ask information requests. Government Participants can ask information requests to Northern Gateway; however, they need the Panel's permission to present an information request to other Parties. These information requests will need to be made during specific steps of the process. Please refer to the detailed timeline in Appendix II of the Hearing Order [Filing A29152].

If you are an Intervenor, you can ask information requests and you must answer any information requests that are sent to you about your written evidence. Information requests and the responses will be posted on the public registry and available for members of the public to see.

If I submit a letter of comment or make an oral statement, can I make a final argument in the joint review process?

Final argument is reserved for Parties. If you decide to submit a letter of comment or make an oral statement you will not be able to make a final argument. Your views are important to the Panel and it will consider all the information before it renders any decisions.

If I have questions of Northern Gateway, can I ask them directly? Can I do it outside of the Panel process?

If you have questions for Northern Gateway and you would like that information to be considered by the Panel, you will need to ask your questions in a public way. This means you must ask an information request or orally question Northern Gateway during the final hearings. If you ask a question of Northern Gateway outside the joint review process and the information is not submitted during the process on the public registry or in person at a hearing, it cannot be considered by the Panel. However, you may ask Northern Gateway questions outside the Panel process anytime.

Do I need a lawyer?

No, you do not need a lawyer to participate in the process. It is not intended or necessary for individuals to be represented by legal or other experts during a hearing.

If I participate in the joint review process, will my personal information be disclosed?

A joint review process is open and transparent. Anyone who participates will have their name and contact information available on the public registry. All written submissions and transcripts of the community and final hearings will be posted on the public registry.

If my concerns are shared with a number of individuals, can one of us participate/speak for the group?

Yes, working with other people who share your views is encouraged by the Panel. If your views are shared by others, it is encouraged that you work together and choose representatives to present the views of your group.

Once a particular view has been presented to the Panel through evidence, either in writing or orally, it will be on the public registry and will be considered by the Panel. Repetition of the same evidence will not add value to the Panel in their deliberations. During the final hearings, the Panel Chair will manage the process to minimize the repetition of evidence so that the process is respectful of everyone's time.

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Date Modified:
2014-01-07