Haida Nation president Peter Lantin and Haida hereditary chief Allan Wilson outside the conference room in the Best Western in Terrace.

Northern Gateway hearings continue today in Terrace

The federal Joint Review Panel is hearing the final statements today

Security at the Best Western Hotel where the Enbridge Northern Gateway final hearings are underway has been smooth, say security staff. Anyone can come in and watch the final presentations without being hassled, a contrast to the joint review panel hearings held earlier this year in Vancouver and Victoria.

Within this peaceful zone of public process, representatives from the Haida First Nation presented their final arguments to the JRP at 10 a.m., arguing that they weren’t adequately consulted and the proper environmental review was never performed.

Haida Nation was represented by general counsel lawyer Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson and their president Peter Lantin. Two other members were also present, including hereditary chief Allan Wilson.

Lantin said that Enbridge having decided not to work closely with the Haida in the consultation process was a poor decision and that by giving the Haida more say could “avoid conflict at the operation level.”

Davidson told the panel that “safety issues relating to open water areas have not been adequately considered,” adding that the “baseline data” about the effects of tanker traffic on the traditional coastal marine life was insufficent.

In particular, traditional waters of the Haida including those at the Dixon Entrance, the Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound, as well as on the west side of the island, needed to be fully examined.

In their presentation Enbridge didn’t address the Haida concerns this time, saying that they already did so in their argument in-chief. Instead they focused on the concerns of First Nations who would be more immediately impacted such as those presented by the Haisla.

Attendees were told to respond to the points made by previous presenters—Davidson and Landtin echoed the tactics of others in pointing out parts of the Enbridge presentation they felt were flawed.

Davidson cited an Enbridge claim that the statistical likelihood of a spill in Haida waters would happen once in 12,000 years, saying that wasn’t correct because it was based on records from 1990-2006.

Lantin followed up Davidson, saying he wanted to present a human face to the refusal of the Haida to accept the NG proposal.

Spokespersons from both the Enbridge and the National Review Board were present.

The presentations will be continuing all week and into next week during work hours.

 

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