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NEWS RELEASE · 14th February 2012
MP Nathan Cullen - Ottawa
Cullen attacks sly effort to change rules mid-hearings

In a letter submitted yesterday to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel, Mr. Ken MacDonald, Vice President of the Northern Gateway Pipelines Limited Partnership, asked that non-Aboriginal participants have their time for oral evidence limited to 10 minutes.

“This letter came out the same week that the only Member of Parliament will be presenting to the panel,” said MP Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley). “It also happens to be the Member whose riding is most affected. The timing is suspicious and shameful.”

The original rules state that intervenors giving oral evidence have up to three hours to speak.

Along with Nathan Cullen, Mr. Gary Coons, provincial MLA (North Coast) will present this week in Prince Rupert at the Community Hearings.

“This letter is obviously an effort to silence elected officials,” said Cullen.

The pipeline would run through Cullen’s riding, and over 40 First Nations’ territories, ending at Kitimat, which would see an increase of over 220 supertankers off its coast.

“Enbridge and the Conservatives don’t want to hear the truth,” said Cullen.

“The truth is that First Nations’ don’t want this pipeline. B.C. residents don’t want to see supertankers in coastal waters threatening the coastal economy with a potential spill. And Canadians don’t want us to ship value-added jobs to China, along with raw goods.”

The panel has been under a series of attacks by government, Enbridge and industry, with constant efforts to limit opponents from speaking.

“This panel was set up so that those most affected can be properly consulted and properly heard. Now just over a month into the hearings Enbridge is putting the muzzle on democratically elected officials who represent those people.

“This decision shouldn’t be in the hands of companies who want to make a buck,” said Cullen. “Those most affected and opponents will not be silenced.”

Just last night, Terrace City Council voted against the Northern Gateway Project.

The Joint Review Panel is expected to reply to Mr. MacDonald’s letter later today.