TORONTO — Ecojustice lawyer, Charles Hatt, and Transition Initiative Kenora executive director, Teika Newton made the following statement in response to the recusal of the entire National Energy Board review panel and the Board’s Chair and Vice-Chair in respect to the Energy East pipeline project:
Charles Hatt, Ecojustice lawyer said:
“We are pleased that all of the National Energy Board members presiding over the Energy East review have recused themselves from their roles. This vindicates our concerns about two panel members’ meetings about Energy East with interest stakeholders behind closed doors.
“But the process is now in disarray. The government must appoint new French-speaking members, the Board must authorize a new acting Chair and Vice-Chair in respect of Energy East, and the acting Chair must appoint an entirely new panel. That future panel will have to confront the question of what to do with all of the outgoing panel’s work up to now. The courts have said a proceeding tainted by a reasonable apprehension of bias is void and must start over from scratch.”
Teika Newton, executive director of Transition Initiative Kenora, added:
“Communities and grassroots groups like ours that will be directly impacted by the Energy East pipeline deserve a review process that is fair from start to finish. We are going to stay vigilant and ensure this happens.”
Ecojustice is a Canadian charity that goes to court to enforce and strengthen Canada’s environmental laws on behalf of people and the planet.
Last month Ecojustice lawyers, on behalf of Transition Initiative Kenora, filed a motion requesting the two NEB panel members involved in closed-door meetings recuse themselves from the Energy East review panel.
Transition Initiative Kenora is a community-led response to climate change and the risks that pipelines pose to local drinking water, ecosystems and tourism. Its aim is to build a more resilient community and improve the quality of life for everyone in Kenora and the Treaty 3 area.