Village of Burns Lake’s mayor and council could soon make a decision about the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.
Councillors have not yeret officially discussed the project and it was recommended that a committee of the whole meeting be held in council chambers to begin the discussions.
Mayor Bernice Magee said she felt a Committee Of The Whole meeting would be the best format to discuss the issue and possibly come to a decision about the twin pipeline project.
She added that council should hold off on any discussions until more information is available from the Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review Process and she suggested September this year would be a good time to start.
Mayor Magee later said to Lakes District News that all councillors sit on Committee Of The Whole. “It is just another way for us to hold a meeting and it gives us an opportunity for a longer discussion. We are not constrained for time when we hold a committee meeting.”
Committee Of The Whole meetings are also open to the public.
Councillor Eileen Benedict asked, “Would we have people come in and present information and will we be making a decision [about the project] during the committee meeting? Is that what we are discussing? What is the purpose of the meeting,” she asked.
Mayor Magee responded, “The issue has now come up four or five times around the council table and there has not been an opportunity for council to discuss it formally,” she said.
“I think it would be an opportunity for you [Coun. Benedict] to elaborate on the community advisory board meetings you have been attending and it is also an opportunity for us to start a discussion and see where we go from there,” mayor Magee added.
She went on to say that part of the discussion could include encouraging the Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce to put a panel together to present information about the proposed project to the public.
Louise Niro, regulatory officer from the National Energy Board overseeing the joint review panel process said to Lakes District News that gathering information for the review is a lengthy process.
“There are a number of information sessions scheduled and in January 2012 there are oral statements being presented which could take a couple of weeks. Evidence will be presented in June 2012. A decision is not made right away and it is not going to be this year,” she said.
She went on to say that because the Village of Burns Lake has registered in the joint review process with intervenor status they will regularly receive information from the panel via email, but that information will continue flow through until at least next year.