Some experts fear the 15-page letter will intimidate people unfamiliar with the process into withdrawing their applications.

Community members join in a walk to oppose Kinder Morgan and other energy companies in the Burrard Inlet at last week's Salish Coast Winter Gathering. Photo by Jen Castro via Flickr.ƒ

In what some call a preemptive strike, Kinder Morgan's legal counsel sent a letter suggesting that some experts and community members who signed up as intervenors for Trans Mountain pipeline hearings may be considered ineligible. The 15-page letter outlines the key changes in the NEB Act -- brought about by the controversial Bill C-38 in 2012 -- and emphasizes why being an expert or having a connection to the pipeline is no longer enough to merit intervenor status.

Douw Steyn, a professor in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science at UBC, received the letter, and he calls it “a disgusting and anti-democratic strategy” to limit participation in the hearings.

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