The National Energy Board has postponed Tuesday's Energy East pipeline project hearings in light of the "violent disruption" that caused them to cancel Monday's hearing in Montreal. No new date has been scheduled at this time.
On Monday morning, the NEB abruptly cancelled its scheduled session on the Energy East pipeline project after protesters criticizing the pipeline regulator’s integrity stormed the Centre Mont-Royal.
Around 100 protesters — some for the pipeline, and others against the project — held demonstrations outside and side the building. The hearings were called off for Monday when a group of pipeline protesters stormed inside the hearing room, chanting slogans criticizing the NEB. Three protesters were arrested, and two men are facing charges for obstruction and assault of a peace officer.
NEB spokeswoman Sarah Kiley told National Observer over email that the panel's first priority is the safety of all participants, and that the panel's goal was to provide a platform for intervenors to ask questions about TransCanada's pipeline application in a "respectful, courteous, and safe environment."
"Unfortunately, that is not what happened today. Disruptions such as those that occurred this morning, prevent intervenors from sharing their views and asking their questions," Kiley said. "Once we have determined how we will hear from those intervenors in Montreal who were scheduled to present today and tomorrow, we will share that information publicly."
A number of high-profile speakers, including Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, the mayor of Laval, and representatives from the Union of Quebec Municipalities, were scheduled to speak on Monday before the hearings were cancelled. Coderre reportedly left the hearings before their cancelation, calling them a "circus" before walking out of the room.