The District of Kitimat has asked the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel to reconsider its decision to bypass the town for the final questioning and final argument hearings “given the significant impact the project will have on Kitimat.”
On July 16, 2012, Mayor Joanne Monaghan sent a letter to the JRP asking for the reconsideration. That letter was posted recently on the JRP website.
Monaghan’s letter says:
The District of Kitimat occupies a key location in the Northern Gateway project. Enbridge’s pipeline will terminate in Kitimat and the new terminal for shipping bitumen will be located here. Our community will not only be subjected to the risks posed by two pipelines, but also is the only community along the pipeline route that will be assuming the risks associated with tanker traffic on Douglas Channel.
We understand that the Joint Review Panel chooses appropriate hearing facilities that are safe, of adequate size and can logistically and technologically accommodate a hearing with many participants. Kitimat can comfortably provide all of those components, therefore we request clarification on the decision to exclude Kitimat from the hearings.
On July 5, the JRP decided to hold the the questioning hearings will begin on September 4, 2012 in Edmonton followed by hearings in Prince George and Prince Rupert.
The Joint Review Panel was able to hold a successful preliminary hearing at a packed Riverlodge Recreation Centre, in Kitimat, in August, 2010 and the National Energy Board held hearings on the KM LNG project at Riverlodge in June, 2011. The current JRP hearings were held at the Haisla Recreation Centre at Kitamaat Village at the request of the Haisla Nation to accommodate the needs of the Elders.