Coastal GasLink pipeline to feed LNG Canada’s liquefied natural gas plant at Kitimat. (File image)

Coastal GasLink pipeline to feed LNG Canada’s liquefied natural gas plant at Kitimat. (File image)

Most intervenor requests in crucial natural gas pipeline case rejected

At stake is whether gas pipeline to LNG Canada plant should fall under federal jurisdiction

The National Energy Board has rejected many of the requests for standing as it grapples with whether or not a natural gas pipeline to feed the LNG Canada liquefied natural gas plant now under construction at Kitimat falls under its jurisdiction.

In a nine-page decision dated Dec. 10, the board determined a wide range of local governments, First Nations and companies either submited information not material to the issue or that they failed to offer “a useful and unique contribution to the jurisdictional issue before the board.”

Although the 670-kilometre long Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline, which would run from northeastern B.C. to Kitimat, has received provincial approval Smithers resident Michael Sawyer asked the National Energy Board late July to consider whether it should more properly come under its jurisdiction.

Sawyer made his argument based on plans to connect the pipeline to an existing pipeline system that does come under federal jurisdiction.

The board did grant standing to Sawyer, the federal government, the governments of B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan as well as Coastal GasLink, the companies that would be involved in supplying natural gas, the existing federally-regulated pipeline system and the partners involved in the LNG Canada project.

Also granted standing was the environmental group Ecojustice.

“Mr. Sawyer and Ecojustice presented the most compelling arguments that they can provide the board relevant information or expertise that could best assist the board in its consideration of this matter,” the board wrote in its Dec. 10 decision.

The board has now set a schedule for approved intervenors to submit information and responses with final arguments to take place next March.

The National Energy Board did decide in October the project “may form part of a federal undertaking and could be subject to regulation under the National Energy Board Act” and so will consider the matter.

But the board has also been careful to point out the hearing “will not allow for the construction or operation of the project. Rather, if following this hearing, the board determines that it ought to take jurisdiction over the project, it would require a separate application and hold a separate hearing to determine whether to approve the project.”

The prospect of another hearing to approve the Coastal GasLink pipeline aroused worries and concerns from residents, local governments, First Nations and businesses along the pipeline route of a possible delay or cancellation of LNG Canada construction, something that would affect the northern B.C. economy.

LNG Canada did announce in October that it was proceeding with its $40 billion project at Kitimat and pre-construction work along the pipeline is underway.

A grouping of northern B.C. municipalities even released a letter expressing “disappointment” at Sawyer’s application.

Those municipalities as well as all First Nations and companies and others who filed requests for standing — 46 in all — has those requests denied.

The rejected intervenor list includes the Haisla Nation, Douglas Channel Watch in Kitimat, the District of Kitimat, the City of Terrace and Green Party MP Elizabeth May.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Northern Health will start taking vaccination appointments for phase 2 rollout beginning March 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Northern Health phase 2 vaccine rollout starts Monday

Coast Mountain College announced as mass vaccination clinic for Smithers

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, prepares a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Almost two in three Canadians surveyed recently said they trust COVID-19 vaccines to be both safe and effective. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Northern Health to open 30 COVID vaccine clinics for oldest residents, Indigenous seniors

Health authority says it plans to vaccinate nearly 15,000 people in Phase Two

The Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School in Hazelton is being shut down for a week by the Gitanmaax Band Council following a confirmation of a COVID-19 exposure there on Feb. 26. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Hazelton school COVID-19 closure extended one week

With spring break on horizon, Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary will be closed to end of March

BC CDC graphic showing weekly numbers of new cases by local health area.
Local health area records 11 new COVID-19 cases from Feb. 21 to 27

The Northwest has become the COVID hotspot in the province

The Smithers recycling depot was destroyed by fire May 9, 2019. (Thom Barker photo)
Curbside recycling pickup returns to Smithers

The Town will start collecting single stream, loose and clean residential recyclables April 12

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read