In a news release posted on its website July 10, the City of Burnaby claimed a recent letter from the Department of Justice (DOJ) supports the City’s position that the NEB should be required to include an oral cross examination of evidence in the review of the proposed Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

In fact, the DOJ was responding to a motion by Forest Ethics and a handful of Applicants in which they claimed that the lack of oral cross-examination was contrary to the constitutional right to free speech.

While the City of Burnaby claims the DOJ is in agreement with the Applicants, in fact, the DOJ position was largely that the NEB’s process is consistent with the constitution. The DOJ did say that they would like to cross-examine Forest Ethics and the other Applicants on their affidavits related to the motion on free speech, but in the end deferred to the NEB’s process.

“The City of Burnaby’s news release is misleading, “said Scott Stoness, Vice President of Regulatory and Finance with Kinder Morgan Canada. “The Department of Justice has supported the NEB process in this particular motion.”

The NEB’s process for reviewing Trans Mountain’s 15,000 page Application includes multiple opportunities for Intervenors to ask questions and make motions related to adequacy of the answers provided.The 15-month review process includes participation from the greatest number of Intervenors to participate in any NEB hearing.