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Monday, August 15, 2016

They refuse to listen

1000 fishermen are thrown overboard by the NEB on Day #1 Energy East hearing

It was a stunning public relations blunder by the NEB.  On the very first day of the Energy East review process, instead of welcoming and accepting comments and concerns from a 1000+ fishermen association in Nova Scotia, the three NEB Board members took only two (2) minutes before deciding to strike down their remarks from the hearing record.
The NEB Board members did not make this decision on their own.  They were instructed to consider taking this position by one of the lawyers for TransCanada seated at the head tables of the room.  
Fortunately, I captured this remarkable exchange on video while attending the NEB panel session in Saint John on August 8, 2016.  The words from the lawyer for TransCanada, Mr. Kemm Yates, sounded more like a directive to the NEB rather than an legal objection for their consideration:
(13:02) Mr. Kemm Yates, lawyer for TransCanada Pipelines Limited and Energy East Pipeline Ltd. (from law firm Blakes, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Calgary, Alberta).  "I would take the position that the Panel will not respond to the question about the Panel Session in Nova Scotia for the reasons articulated by Mr. Watton. Secondly, the jurisdictional question is a question of law and the Panel will not be responding to that either."  "…..Mr. Chairman I submit that all of this submission on behalf of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association cannot form part of the record since they are not an Intervenor and they are not entitled to make a presentation here, leaving aside entirely the question of whether the Ecology Action Centre would have any entitlement to make a submission on behalf of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishery Association."  
The NEB panel members quickly huddled together to discuss their response.  After only two minutes, they turned on their microphone to deny the Nova Scotia fishery association's comments and concerns:

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