Critics assail process, say online system was made intentionally difficult

NEB launches restrictive participation application for Kinder Morgan pipeline review

A tanker is escorted by two tugs as it moves through Burrard Inlet. The $5.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would result in a sixfold increase in oil tanker traffic. Photo: Kinder Morgan 

A new, “onerous” application process will discourage public participation in a federal review of the $5.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, according to critics of the project.

The application process for participating in the review opened Wednesday and closes at noon on Feb. 12.

To participate in the hearings or write a letter, a person must apply to the National Energy Board (NEB) by creating a log-in account or using an existing one with a bank.

People can also have an application mailed to them.

Wilderness Committee campaigner Eoin Madden said the online process and form is complicated, particularly for people with little or no Internet experience.

NEB officials could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

Rules introduced by the federal Conservative government in 2012 stipulate that only people directly affected by the project or who have relevant information or expertise can participate.

“They’re playing a sort of a game where they don’t want to be overtly, very clearly trying to keep people out of the process; however, that is what it is designed to do,” Madden said.

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