Declaring the process “fraudulent,” 40-year energy executive Marc Eliesen has withdrawn as an intervenor in the National Energy Board review of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline.
“I have come to the conclusion that the Board, through its decisions, is engaged in a public deception,” wrote Eliesen, a former deputy minister in seven provincial and federal governments, ex-CEO of B.C. Hydro, and ex-Chair of Manitoba Hydro. “Continued involvement with this process is a waste of time and effort, and represents a disservice to the public interest because it endorses a fraudulent process.”
After the NEB “inexplicably removed” the oral cross-examination phase of its hearings, Eliesen said he was still willing to wait and see whether the Board’s information request process yielded suitable results. But “the unwillingness of Trans Mountain to address most of my questions and the Board’s almost complete endorsement of Trans Mountain’s decision has exposed this process as deceptive and misleading.
“Proper and professional public interest due diligence has been frustrated, leading me to the conclusion that this Board has a predetermined course of action to recommend approval of the Project and a strong bias in favour of the Proponent.”
Eliesen’s 1,500-word letter to the NEB also decried “a lack of respect for hearing participants, a deep erosion of the standards and practices of natural justice that previous Boards have respected, and an undemocratic restriction of participation by citizens, communities, professionals, and First Nations, either by rejecting them outright or failing to provide adequate funding to facilitate meaningful participation.”