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NEB modernization panel wants to hear from indigenous voices

Wendy Grant-John, one of the NEB modernization panelists. (Credit: NEB)

A five-member panel tasked with making recommendations to modernize the National Energy Board is heading to Vancouver this week.

The panel is on a cross-country tour to hear about possible changes to the NEB’s structure, mandate and role – which have been largely unchanged since it was created in 1959.

Wendy John is one of the panelists, she’s also a member of the Musqueam Indian Band.

She says there’s a sense of skepticism directed towards the NEB and its work, adding the panel hasn’t done a very good job in getting the word out for public engagement.

John says it’s unfortunate more indigenous people haven’t been engaged, especially since funding is available for travel expenses.

She says indigenous engagement is one of the main focuses of the panel.

With the number of pipeline proposals in B.C., she says it’s important for indigenous peoples in the province to get involved.

Many people and groups expressed dismay at the workings of the regulator following its approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion last year.

The City of Vancouver, the Squamish Nation, the Living Oceans Society and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation have all filed applications for judicial review of the NEB’s decision.

There will be hearings in Vancouver tomorrow and Thursday, then in Fort St. John on March 1st and 2nd.

More information on the NEB modernization panel can be found here.

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