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Enbridge lawyers question opponents at Northern Gateway pipeline hearings

Douglas Channel, the proposed termination point for an oil pipeline in the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, is pictured in an aerial view in Kitimat, B.C.

DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Lawyers for Enbridge Inc. are getting their turn to question opponents of the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline as hearings examining the project continue in Prince Rupert.

Enbridge spokesman Ivan Giesbrecht says company lawyers want more detail about research methods and evidence presented at the joint review panel hearings by groups critical of a twinned pipeline between Alberta and B.C.'s West Coast.

Giesbrecht says questions this week will focus on spill projections offered by environmentalists and First Nations, as well as the groups' perceived impacts of the $6-billion project.

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Enbridge wants to know more about how critics built their case against the 1,200-kilometre line, which would carry bitumen for shipment overseas, while condensate, a substance used to thin heavy crude, would be piped back to Alberta.

Lawyers cross-examined experts from the Gitga'at First Nation on Monday, questioning the group about the size of its population and how members believe the pipeline could affect their natural resources.

The joint review panel must hear interveners and federal government officials questioned under oath, in advance of final arguments slated for May. The panel report is due by the end of the year.

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