Last Thursday, January 2, the Joint Review Panel (JRP) was in town for its first hearing to take statements from local groups.
The hearing was well attended with over half of the 64-person occupancy hall filled. The process was over by early afternoon.
Three presenters took advantage of the occasion and laid their case before the JRP.
Larry Sagalon, spoke on behalf of the Adih Kenla Keyoh, Dick A’huille. Victor and Lillian Sam, and Jim Munroe spoke on behalf of the Daiya-Matess Keyoh. Gary Ducommon presented for the Metis Nation of BC. Each presented their case as to how the pipeline would be detrimental to their lives.
Protesters that had gathered outside in the morning were quite vocal about their distrust for the National Energy Board- heavy panel.
Inside the speakers were more pragmatic about the neutrality of the council.
“We presented our evidence and whether or not (the JRP) considers it is yet to be seen,” said Jim Munroe, the speaker for the Daiya-Matess Keyoh at the event.
Despite questions regarding its neutrality Mayor Rob McDougall was glad that people in the city had another chance to educate themselves.
City council is reluctant to give a statement as a whole because they are still in the information gathering stages.
“We’ve talked about it,” said MacDougall, “but we aren’t at a point of making a decision.”
The mayor cited difficulties of speaking for the whole community when making statements as a council.
The next JRP hearing in town has as of yet to be scheduled.