Slow but sure

It might sound like a cliché to say that last Tuesday, as the Joint Review Panel started its community hearings...

It might sound like a cliché to say that last Tuesday, as the Joint Review Panel started its community hearings into the Northern Gateway project, the eyes of the world were upon Kitamaat/Kitimat.

Perhaps not the world, but certainly Canada. One look at the phalanx of TV cameras in the Haisla Recreation Centre told you that.

And it was confirmed via an e-mail from Marcel Vander Wier, who covered for a part of my medical leave last year. He reported that a photo of the event appeared on the front page of the Charlottetown (PEI) Guardian.

Fortunately, all that attention did not translate into a circus.

No placard-waving demonstrators and no tub-thumping speeches outside the centre, no disruptions inside.

In other words no distractions from the serious business of intervenors presenting their evidence.

And evidence was the crucial word, not personal opinion.

No matter what the intervenors opinion might be, this proceeding was intended to elicit “traditional knowledge”, which panel chairman Sheila Leggatt clarified as including personal experience that was relevant to the project at hand.

For example, Dave Shannon of the Douglas Channel Watch group tackled the issue of double-hulled tankers and whether they were indeed significantly safer than single-hulled.

Now if he had just recounted other people’s views on the subject, he would have been cut off.

However, he explained he was a metallurgist with experience on vessels from his time with the Canadian Coast Guard.

So a presentation which even he admitted was pretty technical was allowed to proceed.

On the other hand, Leggatt several times had to reel in presenters who drifted away from the guidelines – though it must be said she gave people a fair bit of rope.

Now to some it may appear that the rules of the proceeding were overly restrictive.

But it should be remembered that this is just the beginning and that there will be ample opportunity for people to express their view when the process moves on to the oral statement phase.

The Joint Review Panel process may be lengthy, but it can fairly be said that everyone who wants to have their say will get their chance.

 

Malcolm Baxter

 

 

Just Posted

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Kitimat commits itself to the global fight against polio

Mayor Phil Germuth signs a proclamation

$2 million landfill capping complete

The purpose is to minimize potential leaching of contaminants from the site.

Pipeline company urges rejection of many seeking intervener status in jurisdictional hearings

Those seeking to participate include District of Kitimat and Haisla Nation

North Coast figure skater to star in Dancing On Ice

Carlotta Edwards learned to skate in Prince Rupert, before becoming a star with millions of viewers

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

West Fraser to reduce sawmill production in Quesnel, Fraser Lake

The move will affect 75 employees in Quesnel, 60 in Fraser Lake

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

‘Targeted incident’ leads to death of Quesnel man

One man died of life-threatening injuries on Nov. 8

Most Read