Victoria residents anxious to give their views on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway project to the federal joint review panel will have to re-jig their schedules. Victoria hearings are now set for Jan. 4-11, rather than Jan. 7-11 and Feb. 19-22.
Everyone scheduled to speak will be contacted, so new time slots can be found, said Annie Roy, spokeswoman for the joint review panel.
The changes were necessary because the panel needed to add more time in Prince Rupert, Roy said. Afternoons or evenings might be added to the Victoria sessions to ensure everyone is heard, she said.
Emma Gilchrist, spokeswoman for the Dogwood Initiative, is concerned some people will not be able to speak.
Dogwood opposes the plan to build a pipeline from Alberta's oilsands to Kitimat, where raw bitumen will be shipped by super-tanker through northern B.C. waters to Asian markets.
"It is obviously very concerning that people who were scheduled to speak in mid-February are going to be rescheduled to mid-January, which is when a lot of people are away," Gilchrist said.
Those who want to make presentations to the panel have already had to jump through numerous hoops, she said.
"They expect you to register 15 months in advance, to schedule three months in advance and then they change your date six weeks before the hearing to a time that many people will be away," Gilchrist said. "It's not exactly a user-friendly system."
The panel is expected to issue its report by Dec. 29 of next year.
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