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Enbridge lawyer, woman forward in picture
COMMENTARY · 17th February 2012
Merv Ritchie
As the Enbridge Joint Review Panel began in Prince Rupert today, February 17, 2012, Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen was interrupted by the Enbridge Northern Gateway legal team after only 8 minutes. Enbridge argued Cullen was not following the parameters of the intervener rules. They claimed Cullen was making a political speech.

As Cullen began again clarifying how he was presenting his personal knowledge of the people and the disharmony being created, particularly with the Gitxsan people, Enbridge interrupted again.

The three member panel withdrew to discuss this dilemma and then allowed Cullen to resume after instructing him to stick to his personal knowledge of the impacts of the pipeline.

Cullen attempted to clarify how the social impacts on the communities, again referencing the Gitxsan, were just as significant as an oil spill. He spoke about the disharmony Enbridge has created amongst the Gitxsan people. This again drew an objection by Enbridge.

After a 5 minute recess Cullen was allowed to continue.

Cullen asked to respond to the allegations made against him by Enbridge and was refused. He stated it was not correct for the accusations made to stand undefended and countered by him claiming it was unfair to allow Enbridge to state something and have it on the record without allowing him to respond.

Accepting the ruling of the panel and stating his respect for them and the process, Cullen delivered a 5 minute presentation that began with his arrival in the Northwest to his acceptance in the Native communities and in their feast halls. He described how the land is the people, repeating a phrase used before, the people don't make the land, the land makes the people.

He stated without the harvest and the health of the land and the waters the people could not exist. He asked the Panel to seriously consider the people and their lives, the interrelatedness of everything within the Northwest Coast.

The audience had repeatedly interrupted by boos to Enbridge and the panel when they critique Cullen and loud cheers and applause for Cullen.

When the Metlakatla Chief began he chastised the Panel and the NEB staff for asking one of their drummers to leave the room stating this was disrespectful. he stated they would never do that in their feast hall. They came to this hearing with respect and they expect to see the same respect returned to them.
He's a dud
Comment by Paul Dament, Alberta on 11th March 2012
Cullen is nothing but a self serving gov't employee waiting to scoop the big pension.What has he done for the region,what has he done for his province or country.His expenses are the highest,his productivity is the lowest.

He's in the pocket of "BIG ENVIORNMENT" leftists from the US and Europe,he has no understanding of how an economy works or how to create a job!Has he ever actually had a real job in the private sector,has he ever actually created a company and hired people??Almost as pathetic as Obama,a know nothing,do nothing parasite living of the system!
It sounds to me like...
Comment by FayEllen McFarlane on 17th February 2012
This Joint Review Panel has had its authority undermined; its members have had their job threatened by Enbridge and the Government who only want to hear positive things about what their pipeline can do for us!

But how can we say positive things when we can only see the negative impact this project is going to have?
- few jobs for the people in our area who need them
-the Enbridge record of many spills and poor cleanup
-the threat of leaks and spills in isolated valleys and under heavy snowfall
-the further threat of tanker traffic in our coastal waters
The risk is huge, and the reward small - that is probably why we keep hearing so many rumours about our communities - First Nations or not, being offered payoffs to come on board. Enbridge, Prime Minister Harper, and Rich Coleman do not like to hear the word "No"! But when I listen, that is what I hear: "No! No! No!" to Enbridge and its pipeline in the Northwest.
SHAMELESS MISUSE OF POWER
Comment by Linda Halyk on 17th February 2012
How dare Enbridge be allowed to censor an elected member of our government? The very person this area depends on to relay information. This is a disgraceful misuse of corporate power.

Mr Cullen was trying to relate his story of what he knows personally of the First Nations people of this area. He is a well respected Member of Parliament, the people elected him and stand behind him.
You the JRP have allowed Enbridge to disrespect their friend, they allow you into their territory, into their halls, into their meeting rooms, into their very being, into their memories and history they do not censor you.
Respect is a two way street and the JRP lost more respect today by allowing the Proponent to push you around. The rules are written you have set precedents, but you allow Enbridge to bend, alter them at their will or whenever they feel threatened.
Our whole way of life is being threatened and that is what is trying to be reported to you.