Vancouver mayor calls federal approval of Kinder Morgan project 'a direct threat' to city

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      Mayor Gregor Robertson added his voice to those who are disappointed with the federal government's decision to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

      Robertson has been a vocal opponent of the project.

      He had previously warned that approval would spark an unprecedented level of protest.

      In a statement released today (November 29), he called it a step backward for the Canadian environment and economy.

      Here is the statement issued by Robertson:

      I am profoundly disappointed with today’s decision. Vancouver’s work with the federal government on transit, housing, welcoming refugees and other shared priorities has been overwhelmingly positive, but approving Kinder Morgan’s heavy oil pipeline expansion is a big step backwards for Canada’s environment and economy. This project was approved under a flawed and biased Harper-era regulatory process that shut out local voices and ignored climate change and First Nations concerns.

      The Federal Government’s decision on Kinder Morgan is a missed opportunity for Canada, as there's never been a better time to aggressively shift to a clean energy future. Vancouver’s economy is the strongest and greenest in Canada and our marine-based industries play a big role in our success. Vancouver’s economy created 94,000 new jobs last year and significant tax revenue for Canada—it doesn’t make sense to jeopardize that success with the risk that comes with an expanded Kinder Morgan heavy oil pipeline and more tankers. As I’ve said repeatedly, it is not worth the risk.

      Vancouver will continue to raise concerns about Kinder Morgan’s massive expansion that could bring seven times the number of oil tankers to our waters. I—along with the tens of thousands of residents, local First Nations, and other Metro Vancouver cities who told the federal government a resounding ‘no’ to this project—will keep speaking out against this pipeline expansion that doesn’t make sense for our economic or environmental future.

      In a video uploaded today (November 29), Robertson also called the approval "a direct threat to Vancouver's economy, to our clean environment, and to the successful economy that's created over 94,000 jobs for Canada last year."

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.