Edmonton, Sept. 22nd, Day 11
Carol Hales representing the National Energy Board (NEB) continued her questioning from yesterday, obtaining from the Northern Gateway Pipelines (NGP) witness panel the information that 26 of 45 First Nations (60%) have executed equity agreements with NGP under its Aboriginal Equity Program.
Dr. Mansell is one of the authors of the Wright Mansell public interest benefits analysis which has received, along with the Muse Stancil markets analysis, by far the most questions in the examination of this witness panel. Ms. Hales asked him about the cost benefit analysis. He replied that cost benefit studies stopped being required by the NEB when it shifted to a market-based regulatory regime in the 1990s.
Mr Priddle, who was Chairman of the NEB at the time, and introduced market-based regulation, said, “It has been the Board’s practice to consider that the presence of completed firm service agreements is the central indication of need for a particular facility.”
Questioning of NGP’s panel ended, and the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) brought out its witness panel, consisting of Gil McGowan, President of the AFL, and Robyn Allan, an economist and insurance expert.
Keith Bergner, representing the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, was first to question the AFL. He stated that he was not going to question Ms. Allan.
He began a series of questions which Mr. McGowan used to explain the position of the AFL. The problem, as stated by Mr. McGowan, is that exporting raw bitumen is exporting jobs that could be created in Alberta upgrading and refining the bitumen. Building the NGP will undermine the chances of building upgraders.
Sheila Leggett, the Chairperson of the Joint Review Panel reprimanded Mr. McGowan a number of times, telling him to just answer the questions and save his argument for later.
Don Davies, representing Cenovus Energy, Nexen, Suncor Energy Marketing, and Total E&P, asked a few questions of Mr. McGowan, and none of Ms. Allan, until he got to, “Is it the position of AFL that if Northern Gateway proceeds no new upgraders will be built in Alberta?” which Mr. McGowan would not answer with a yes or no.
The Chairperson asked him to answer the question.
Mr. McGowan refused, “No, it is not an accurate characterization of our position.”
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