Georgia Strait Alliance is the only citizens' group focused on protecting the marine environment in and around the whole Strait of Georgia – Canada's most at-risk natural environment, and the place where 70% of British Columbians live, work and play. We are committed to a future for our region that includes clean water and air, healthy wild salmon runs, rich marine life and natural areas, and sustainable communities.

April 3, 2014

Who will have a voice in the Kinder Morgan hearings?

Yesterday the National Energy Board (NEB) denied nearly half of those who applied to take part in the upcoming review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion their preferred method of participation.

Of the 2,118 applications received, 452 were ‘downgraded’ by the NEB from intervenor to commenter status, and 468 were denied participation altogether. In addition, 400 were granted intervenor status and 798 who requested commenter status were granted it.  You can find out if you were accepted as an intervenor or commenter, or if your application was denied.

With this decision from the NEB, hundreds of individuals and groups have now been shut out of the hearings, and denied the chance to officially voice their important concerns about Kinder Morgan's tar sands pipeline (and the 400+ tankers it would bring through the Georgia Strait each year).
It’s a sad day for democracy in Canada, when nearly a thousand people who stepped up to take part in a complex regulatory process to have their say about a project of national significance are shut out of the hearings.

Georgia Strait Alliance has been granted permission by the NEB to fully participate in the hearings as an intervenor, and we will do our best to use this as an opportunity to represent the voices of those who have been excluded.

For those who have been accepted as commenters or intervenors, yesterday’s announcement also came with some important information about timelines and advice on how to participate. Here are a few highlights:

·         NEB workshops for commenters & intervenors begin next week and run throughout the process
·         Submitting requests for information to Kinder Morgan begins May 2014
·         Commenters can file one letter, and must do so by September 9, 2014
·         Intervenors can provide written evidence, ask questions, present written and oral argument
·         Oral hearings by intervenors will take place in February 2015 (location and exact date not yet announced)
·         NEB must complete its review by July 2, 2015

UPDATE (April 21, 2014): The City of Burnaby has prepared a very comprehensive information package to help intervenors navigate the process, and will also be holding their own workshops.

We'll keep posting more information about the hearing process – and equally important actions you can take outside the process – in the weeks to come, so stay tuned for updates!


  1. Hi Alexandra -- I applied for and was granted commentor status, so I'll be writing a letter about noise pollution from shipping and how it affects fishes (e.g. spawning herring, on which many other species depend seasonally). I haven't gotten any information about the workshops but would like to. Can you suggest a contact? Thanks!

    1. The current round of workshops has now passed, but the information presented in them is available here (which is all designed for intervenors, and I believe was only advertised to intervenors):

      The NEB may schedule more workshops if there is a lot of demand, so keep checking for updates here:

      According to the Hearing Order, workshops for commenters will be held in mid-August 2014. In the meantime, you can ask questions of the NEB Process Advisors assigned to the Kinder Morgan hearings via phone at 1-800-899-1265 or via email at (you could also request that workshops for commenters be held sooner).

      Feel free to email me as well if you have more questions: