Constitutional challenge of pipeline hearing rules won’t proceed

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.

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.

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.

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