Members of the National Energy Board's panel on modernization will travel across Canada this spring to get public feedback on restructuring the country's federal energy regulator.

The panel is responsible for a wide review of the NEB, considering its overall mandate, governance and decision-making structure, as well as its policies for engaging with indigenous people and the general public.

Panel members will spend two days in each city, with presentations and discussions open to the general public, as well as meetings specifically for Indigenous people. People interested in joining the meetings can register on the panel's website.

The meetings will be recorded and transcripts will be released online, Natural Resources spokesperson Danica Vaillancourt said in an email. Reports and meeting summaries will be released in English and French and all meetings will have simultaneous interpretation available to participants in both official languages.

The cross-country meetings will begin in Saskatoon on January 25, and end in Montreal on March 29. When the hearings wrap up, the panel will have a month and a half before the May 15 deadline to return their report to the minister of natural resources.

Any new rules won't apply to projects already underway, the NEB said in a statement.

That would include the approved Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion, which would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline system to carry up to 890,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the oilsands to Burnaby, B.C.. Enbridge's Line 3 project, which would almost double the capacity of the company's pipeline running from eastern Alberta to Wisconsin, will also continue under the existing rules.

Asked if Natural Resources expected protests at any of the events, Vaillancourt replied: “The Government welcomes the views of Canadians on issues that matter to them.”

The announcement of hearings comes as the NEB is facing a lawsuit from two northern Ontario First Nations who are arguing that the NEB violated their treaty rights and asking for up to $60 million in damages.

The NEB is also considering a legal challenge filed last week that asks for the entire consultation process on the Energy East pipeline project to be thrown out. Acting on behalf of northern Ontario-based Transition Initiative Kenora, lawyers with Ecojustice argue that the current process is tainted by conflict-of-interest allegations that forced several NEB members to resign last fall.

Another sham exercise - what a waste of money and time.
Anyone who thinks their input would matter to the NEB has an overactive/delusional imagination.
This exercise, like myriad before it, is a facade to windowdress the NEB's capture by industry.
Nothing will change until the entire NEB is DUMPED, lock, stock, and BARREL, and replaced.

It sounds like the Kinder Morgan panel that wanted to hear from everyone that had an opinion on the pipeline. So people attended and sent in feedback by the thousands, glad to finally have their say on an issue of global importance. The panel reported an overwhelming majority opposed the project. Too bad Trudeau has no responsibility to voters. Hey, wait a minute...

As suggested by “Public Interest”, these hearings will be totally worthless because they are being run by the NEB, an organization so corrupt that it has appointed members to panels even though they have been forced to recuse themselves from other recent downloads.

The fact that the hearings and changes are not going to apply to projects recently approved or under consideration is ludicrous. It carries forward the big lie that Trudeau told during the election. Specifically, he claimed that the NEB would be overhauled to renew public respect for the institution. By allowing such flawed assessments as to Kinder Morgan trans mountain pipeline assessment to stand, the Trudeau government cannot possibly increase respect for the NEB.

For the government and the NEB gain any credibility, the NEB cannot be in charge of the hearings. The hearings must be run by a completely independent organization. One can tell the way the hearings are set up that this group is not going to propose anything serious in the way of change. The fact is, that the NEB will have to be physically removed from Calgary and kept away from any other oil and gas producing region if it is to have any independence and make any credible decisions.

There is not a word about the mandate of the committee but when there is, the mandate is likely to be limited to tinkering rather than making substandard of change the way the NEB operates. A complete waste of public monies.

Second last line, word should be "substantive", not "substandard".

The NEB is still only in operation and control because the "reorganization" promised by Trudeau might have got in the way of his capture by the fossil industry. The longer he can delay any meaningful NEB change the longer he keeps everybody holding their breaths that he may actually and eventually make an environmentally sensitive decision. Without repeating all the comments to date let me just state quite baldly that Trudeau's lies combined with the election of Trump is a disaster almost beyond recovery. Because another 3 years of reentrenchment of the fossil industry and the ignoring of any federal encouragement for renewables will spell the death of direct democracy.

Another coast to coast hypocritical pony show! What a waste of taxpayers money again. This government will skew whatever the public comments on into some decision Harper made months ago. And they even cover their own butts by ruling out retroactivity to the date they were elected. Nope, no changing of any govt. decisions made to date. Actually, most of their environmental decisions to date make me think that Harper is still the PM. That'll suit their fossil friends just fine now that all of the pipelines that were left up in the air by Harper have been passed by Trudeau, not to mention Site C, LNG et al.
Now that I watch how fast Trump can operate perhaps we should cut the federal government's time in office to 2 years and see how fast they can legislate some decent stuff.

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