Trans Mountain Pipeline foes set up outside Kinder Morgan info sessions
Local residents opposed to a proposed pipeline expansion say they plan to continue setting up “alternative information booths” at open houses hosted by Kinder Morgan in the region.
Outside the first of a series of Vancouver info sessions held by the energy company, PIPE UP Network member Sheila Muxlow told the Straight she hoped to circulate information about concerns associated with Kinder Morgan’s proposed twinning of its Trans Mountain Pipeline. The oil pipeline runs from Edmonton to Burnaby.
“They haven’t put forward their official expansion proposal, and yet we’ve already seen, I would say, [a] pretty overt public outcry against the pipeline and against the plans for more tankers in the inlet,” she said. “So I think the more we can stay vigilant, stay committed to each other as communities, and not let Kinder Morgan get away with essentially their public-relations campaign to try to promote the pipeline, I think that our chances of stopping it are very good.”
Vancouver-Hastings MLA Shane Simpson was among the dozens of people in attendance at the open house on November 13. Simpson said he was hearing “a little bit of frustration” from some of his constituents.
“They were hoping there would be an opportunity to hear from Kinder Morgan about what the scope of this might look like, the opportunity to ask some questions, [and] get more of a meeting kind of venue,” the NDP MLA said at Hastings Park.
Simpson’s party has not yet taken a stance on the Kinder Morgan proposal. The MLA said they are waiting to see what the company’s formal application—expected to be filed late next year—to the National Energy Board looks like.
“Clearly they’re going to have to address issues of tanker traffic and the potential impacts on the coast, they’re going to have to address First Nations issues, they’re going to have to address other significant environmental issues, and there’s going to have to be some explanation of what the benefits are to British Columbians,” he told reporters.
Kennedy Stewart, the NDP MP for Burnaby-Douglas, said he has heard “a lot of concern” from residents in his community about the project, and called the information that has been made available until now “scant”.
“I actually had to go out and get a map printed myself so I could inform constituents of where the pipeline currently is and may be laid in the future,” he said.
Michael Davies, the director of engineering and marine development for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, told reporters the purpose of the local information sessions is to provide factual information about the project, and to learn what the community’s concerns are.
“And it’s an opportunity for us to incorporate those concerns into the design, and ultimately the application for the project as well,” he said.
Kinder Morgan’s proposed $4.3 billion expansion would see the company’s current traffic in Port Metro Vancouver increase from five to 25 tankers per month.