Constitutional challenge of pipeline hearing rules won’t proceed

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VANCOUVER — The National Energy Board has the right to limit evidence or exclude participants from the Kinder Morgan pipeline hearing, or any other hearing it conducts.

That’s the effect of a Supreme Court of Canada decision not to hear a constitutional challenge of federal government revisions to the National Energy Board Act.

Vancouver-based ForestEthics Advocacy and several interveners had hoped the high court would allow a challenge of section 55.2 of the Act, arguing the section limits Canadians’ right to free speech.

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ForestEthics spokesman Sven Biggs says the fight will now move to Parliament.

He pledges critics will redouble their efforts to ensure the next federal government creates a fair process for the review of pipeline proposals.

ForestEthics says section 55.2 limits free speech by barring climate-related evidence at the Kinder Morgan pipeline hearing and preventing nearly 500 residents along the southern B.C. pipeline route from participating altogether.

The Canadian Press

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