|dc.description.abstract||In recent years, several major oil and gas pipeline projects have been proposed in Canada including Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion project [TMX]. There has been strong opposition to the TMX and other pipeline projects, and recent changes to Canada’s regulatory framework have imposed limits on public participation in the National Energy Board’s [NEB] public hearings for these projects. This thesis uses the TMX as a case study to explore Canadians’ conceptions of citizenship and the role of the public in energy infrastructure projects. Data for this study was collected using unstructured narrative interviews with respondents who participated, abstained, or were rejected from the NEB’s public hearings.
Results show that respondents believed the NEB review process lacked procedural fairness, was not addressing the issues that concerned them, and afforded citizens little power over the TMX decision. Respondents expressed considerable distrust for the Conservative government and the NEB, which has arguably resulted in them reconsidering the legitimacy of these authorities, and perceiving their actions as coercive. Respondents’ conceptions of their rights and responsibilities included agency and voice, information and knowledge, quality of life, and healthy democracy. They engaged with these rights and responsibilities by collecting and spreading information, fostering social connections, using formal democratic avenues, and exerting power. Their engagement outside of the NEB review can be understood as creating new political communities and new articulations of political life, which challenge dominant understandings of citizenship in constructive ways.||nb_NO