Today, Canada's best-known environmentalist, David Suzuki, showed up to support people protesting Kinder Morgan's survey work on Burnaby Mountain.
His grandson, Tamo Campos, was taken into custody on November 20 after he challenged police lines. They were set up to to allow the company to continue its operations.
Meanwhile, Suzuki's granddaughter Tomiko was arrested today along with members of the Tahltan First Nation, according to the Vancouver Observer.
Also today, CKNW has reported that more than a dozen people were "put in police vehicles" on the fourth consecutive day of protests.
Yesterday afternoon, the Burnaby RCMP stated that 53 people had been arrested since November 20. That included one man booked for assault after he allegedly spit on a Mountie.
Vancouver civil-rights lawyer Gail Davidson has questioned why the company is even doing the survey work while the issue is before the courts.
The City of Burnaby remains vehemently opposed to the project. It has filed an application in the Federal Court of Appeal to set aside a National Energy Board ruling to permit survey work on Burnaby Mountain.
Burnaby maintains that Kinder Morgan is violating municipal bylaws.
In a letter released last month, Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan provided his city's response to several of the company's claims. You can read them below.
Kinder Morgan describes its pipeline as a twinning.
In fact, in Burnaby 90 percent of the proposed line would follow a completely new route. It would carry unrefined oil products, not the refined (and less toxic) products carried in the existing line. It would result in a tripling of the capacity of oil stored on Burnaby Mountain and seven times the number of tankers carrying the oil (up to 580,000 barrels in each tanker) through Burrard inlet. The 890,000 barrels per day of oil it would carry would be for export, not for use anywhere in Canada. In no way would this pipeline resemble the existing line.
Kinder Morgan says they are your neighbour.
Kinder Morgan is a Houston-based, multinational energy company. Its founder, chair, and CEO—former Enron executive Richard Kinder, one of the richest men in America—is not our neighbour. He left Enron to start his investment company. His energy operations began with the purchase of Enron Liquids Pipeline.
Kinder Morgan says Trans Mountain has "been operating safely in your community since 1953".
They have not! Kinder Morgan didn’t purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline until 2005. Since then, they have had a number of large spills, one of the most significant of which was in 2007 in Burnaby and saw a neighbourhood drenched in 1,572 barrels of crude oil, some of which flowed all the way to Burrard Inlet. Emergency evacuation of 250 Burnaby residents was required and 50 residential properties were affected. The spill entered the Burrard Inlet through a storm sewer and affected 1,200 metres of shoreline, impacting ecosystems and wildlife. The Transportation Safety Board ruled that the spill was the fault of Kinder Morgan and two contracting companies.
Kinder Morgan says this pipeline would provide economic benefits for Burnaby
It would not. Though short-term jobs would be created in pipeline construction, there is no guarantee that any of these jobs would be for local workers. The number of long-term jobs that would be created is insignificant. Kinder Morgan president, Ian Anderson, has admitted this fact.
The economic value of any taxes Kinder Morgan would pay would not offset the negative economic impacts to other businesses and the significant permanent limitations the pipeline right-of-way would put on land-use opportunities.
Burnaby has long-term plans—developed with our citizens—for town centre, transportation, residential and recreational developments. All would be severely negatively impacted by the pipeline, tank farm and docks.
Given the planned and potential economic development opportunities that would be eliminated, the taxes Kinder Morgan would pay would not compensate for the permanent damage the project would cause—even without the devastating economic, social and environmental impacts of an oil spill or tank farm fire.
Kinder Morgan told the National Energy Board that Burnaby’s request to hold a hearing locally (not in Calgary), to enable Burnaby citizens and businesses to participate, is “just another attempt by Burnaby to delay and obstruct”.
This is astonishing. Burnaby believes it is critical to ensure citizens can participate in the National Energy Board review process. We therefore requested that the National Energy Board hold a hearing in Burnaby or Vancouver. Kinder Morgan called our request “an attempt to delay and obstruct”.
The hearing then took place on October 9 in Calgary to determine whether or not Kinder Morgan can continue to break Burnaby’s bylaws and cut down trees in our Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area to enable Kinder Morgan to create a helicopter staging area and to drill bore holes for a project that has not been subject to public hearings and has not been deemed by any local, regional, provincial or federal government in Canada to be in the public interest.
Kinder Morgan says the route that would include tunnelling through Burnaby Mountain is now their preferred route.
Kinder Morgan has changed their stated route preference several times. After the change to Burnaby Mountain, the National Energy Board postponed the project hearings by seven months, as citizens who would be directly affected because of the change had been given no opportunity to participate in the hearings.
We believe that Kinder Morgan’s repeated preferred route changes are designed to divide our community and to enable them to say they are responding to public input. We expect their route preferences to continue to change.
Kinder Morgan says they are “committed” to “fully restore” any areas they disturb.
This is not possible. The damage done as a result of Kinder Morgan’s initial survey work has had far-reaching damaging effects on the Mountain. Further drilling and tunnelling work would cause much greater irreparable damage to the conservation area. Certified arborists described the damage from Kinder Morgan’s initial survey, saying: “The impact of this action will be felt for many years to come and will extend much further than the direct area of intrusion…The removal of 6 mature live alders and 7 wildlife trees has had an immediate visual and ecological impact on the Site 1 K.M.C. Drilling Location. There will also be long term effects of such a high level of disturbance that will be felt in the immediate area and surrounding areas downhill.
“None of the trees removed, live or wildlife, posed any kind of risk or hazard to the public. There were no trails or structures which would have been impacted by the standing wildlife trees.”
The rest of the letter can be read on the City of Burnaby website.