Opposition looks to federal government for answers
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
Several concerns regarding the Trans Mountain pipeline, a product of Kinder Morgan, were brought to the public’s attention this week, with issues being voiced by the City of New Westminster, the Musqueam First Nations, and environmentalists—particularly involving the twinning of the pipeline.
By twinning the pipeline, Kinder Morgan proposes to nearly triple oil transport. According to the New Westminster Record, twinning the pipeline will allow transport of up to 890,000 barrels of oil per day, as opposed to 300,000 daily with a single pipeline. The pipeline will span from Edmonton, and move southwards in BC through Kamloops and Burnaby before reaching a terminus at Port Metro Vancouver.
The National Energy Board (NEB) started their hearings of local concerns regarding the pipeline in Burnaby on January 19, and will continue the hearings until January 29. After that, the hearings will move to Calgary for a four-day session. Hearings and reviews are expected to continue taking place until May.
“You have heard, through the submissions and argument of Trans Mountain, a story—a story applauding the expertise of the board’s advisers, a story full of self-serving statements expressing how fair this process has been,” Anthony Capuccinello, a representative for the City of Surrey, said to CTV. Yet Capuccinello doubts that the NEB will place too much weight on oppositional concern in their review.
The City of New Westminster is concerned that the pipelines will harm the environment, in particular about the restoration of Brunette River potentially being reversed. The City also announced that effects on local botany, the response time first responders regarding pipeline incidents, property values, and public safety are also on top of the list of concerns.
Local indigenous populations have expressed concern that the pipelines may damage rivers and significantly affect the ability to fish.
Meanwhile, Audrey Siegl of the Musqueam First Nation has called to Prime Minister Trudeau for action.
“Stand with us if you’re going to stand with us. We need more than just words.”
During the federal election, Trudeau promised a new and transparent review process regarding the approval of oil pipelines. Since the Liberal government was elected, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said that a new review process was being worked on, but that ongoing projects would not be asked to start again and that projects under review would be allowed a transition period, according to CTV.
Although resources usually fall under provincial control, the ultimate decision regarding the Trans Mountain Pipeline will fall to the federal government, because of the pipeline expanding through two provinces. Once the NEB finishes their review in May, the cabinet will have three months to make a final decision on the pipeline.