How to prepare a Letter of Comment

How to prepare a Letter of Comment [PDF 408 KB]

2017

Outline

This presentation provides a brief overview of what a Letter of Comment is and tips on how to prepare a Letter of Comment.

This presentation includes information on:

  • What is a Letter of Comment?
  • How to prepare your Letter of Comment?
  • What to include in your Letter of Comment?
  • How to format my Letter of Comment?
  • How to file your Letter of Comment?

What is a Letter of Comment?

  • A letter of comment allows you to share your views and opinions on the project in writing.
  • Your Letter of Comment may include:
    • your views and opinions on the project as they relate to the List of Issues.
    • any supporting information such as maps, photographs or written information that support your position.
    • any proposed terms or conditions that should be added if the project is approved.
  • Your Letter of Comment and supporting information will be part of the public record and will be considered by the Board in making its decision or recommendation.

How should I prepare my Letter of Comment?

  • When you are putting together your Letter of Comment, you may ask yourself the following questions:
    • What do I want the Board to know?
    • What facts/information will support my view?
    • Does my letter support the point I want to make?
    • Does my letter relate to the List of Issues the Board is considering?
  • The Board has a longstanding tradition of conducting its hearings in a courteous and respectful manner, ensure that your Letter of Comment follows this same practice.
  • Note that “Form Letters” are not allowed and will not be considered.

What should be included in my Letter of Comment?

  • Your Letter of Comment could include:
    • your views and concerns on the project.
    • how the project will impact you?
    • information or expertise you have about the project.
    • your position on the recommendation/decision the Board will make.
    • your views on terms and conditions that should be put on the project, if it is approved.
    • supporting information.

How can I prepare a Letter of Comment?

  • When you write a Letter of Comment:
    • Spend some time in advance considering the key messages you want to convey to the Board and organize your thoughts.
    • Keep your points focused on the List of Issues and the scope of the proposed project.
    • Be specific about how you will be impacted or will benefit from the project or what you have to say about the project.
    • Read over your letter to make sure it is clear and accurately conveys the points you want to make to the Board.

What is Supporting Information?

  • What is Supporting Information?
    • Supporting information is for example: photographs, maps and written information that support your position.
    • The Participation Portal System only recognizes PDF files that are under 10MB.
    • Video or audio recordings are not accepted as supporting information.
  • How do I reference my Supporting Information?
    • Include references to any documents you refer to which are not yet on the record.
    • When you are referring to the application, or evidence of others, include the exhibit and pdf page numbers. Example: Filing # A79337, adobe page # X, paragraph # X.
    • When referencing websites, include the site address, and a copy of the information you want the Board to see, as website addresses and contents may change over time.

How should I format my Letter of Comment?

  • Make sure your letter includes:
    • your name,
    • your contact information (such as your address, phone number, email address), and the name and file number of the hearing it relates to.
  • The following tips will help the Board and others as they read your Letter:
    • Begin with a description of your expertise or the relevant information you possess, or how you are impacted and the topics on the List of Issues related to your interest. This helps to set the context for the readers.
    • Separate each issue and point into separate paragraphs.
    • Headings are helpful.
    • Reference any supporting information you use.

How to submit a Letter of Comment?

  • You can submit your Letter of Comments:
    • Electronically with the Participation Portal or E-file System
    • By fax at 1-877-288-8803
    • By mail/hand delivery at:
      • Secretary of the Board
        National Energy Board
        Suite 210, 517 Tenth Avenue SW
        Calgary, AB  T2R 0A8
  • Please note that email is not a valid method of filing documents

How do I submit my letter electronically?

  • There are two ways of submitting documents electronically:
    • Participation Portal, and
    • E-file system.
  • What is the Participation Portal?
    • The Participation Portal is a web based tool used to facilitate electronic submissions and distribution of the documents filed in a hearing process.
    • Consult the document “How to submit a Letter of Comment with the Participation Portal?” to view the step-by-step process on how to submit your Letter.
  • What is the E-file System?
    • The E-file system is a web based tool used to facilitate electronic submissions.
    • This tool doesn’t assist you with the distribution of the document filed in a hearing process.

 

What is a Process Advisor?

  • The Board assigns Process Advisors (PAs) to each hearing to assist you to better understand the hearing process for a specific project, and how to participate in it effectively.
  • The Process Advisors are available by telephone and email. Visit the project page of the hearing you registered to participate in at www.neb-one.gc.ca to find the contact information of your Process Advisors.
  • The Process Advisors may offer a workshop, usually on-line, to help you better understand how to prepare, write and submit your Letter of Comment.
  • The Process Advisors can only discuss process matters with you and cannot advise you on the content of your letter or how you can make your case to the Board.

Where to Find More Information

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