The Haisla Nation have filed papers with the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel asking permission to question both the federal and Alberta governments during the questioning phase of the hearings.
A letter from the Haisla’s lawyer, Jennifer Griffith of the law firm Donavan & Company explains:
The Haisla Nation intends to question federal government participants on the following aspects of the proposed project:
1. The federal government’s evidence;
2. The adequacy and completeness of the information provided by the proponent;
3. The potential impacts of the proposed project;
4. The proponent’s proposed approaches to mitigation;
5. The regulatory role of the federal government with respect to the proposed project.
Griffith says the Haisla Nation want information “about potential environmental effects of the proposed project and the suitability of the proposed mitigation” and to find out if the controversial pipeline project “will result in significant adverse effects that cannot be mitigated, and on potential impacts to the Haisla Nation’s aboriginal rights, including aboriginal title.”
Griffith adds that the federal government plays a significant role in the proposed project approval, permitting and in regulatory oversight.
In addition, various federal government departments are charged with administering legislation applicable to the project that is designed to protect the environment or species at risk. The federal government’s assessment of the proposed project is therefore required in order to have a full understanding of the potential project effects.
The federal government has participated in the information requests to the proponent phase, and has filed evidence. Fairness requires that the Haisla Nation have the opportunity to test the evidence submitted by the federal government, and to explore the role of the federal government in the regulations of the proposed project.
On Alberta, Griffth says The Haisla Nation intends to question the Government of Alberta on the Wood Mackenzie Netback Analysis (a study commissioned by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on ways of exporting oil from Alberta and the transportation corridors needed to get the oil to markets in Asia), adding
Information about potential economic benefits anticipated to result from the proposed project is relevant to the Canadian public interest assessment required for the proposed project.