September 4, 2014 For immediate release
On September 3, after cutting down six large (14- to 24-metre high), healthy trees and seven large wildlife trees and clearing an area about the size of a football field (approximately half a hectare), limiting traffic access to Burnaby Mountain, and stopping City of Burnaby Parks staff from accessing City trails all in contravention of Burnaby bylaws Kinder Morgan left the site, saying they are now seeking legal advice before proceeding further with their work.
Kinder Morgan then filed a Notice of Motion with the National Energy Board, to request an order that would allow them to continue to conduct this destructive survey work in the park including cutting of large trees in forested areas, drilling of bore holes, and construction of a helicopter staging area for delivery of heavy equipment.
“Kinder Morgan claimed they had a lawful order when they started work,” says Mayor Derek Corrigan, “but they’ve now conceded that the extent of their work was not sufficiently authorized by the NEB, and they’re going back for a second try.
“For them to blatantly disregard our laws as they have with no authority to do so is appalling. Our Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area exists because our citizens decided they wanted this area to be protected. They did so democratically and their decision and the laws protecting this conservation land should be respected.
“Even though this pipeline has not been approved, Kinder Morgan thinks nothing of illegally entering our park, causing irreparable harm to the ecosystem and defying the laws our citizens have put in place.”
The City of Burnaby is now consulting with its legal counsel to determine how best to ensure Kinder Morgan will not be able to continue their destructive survey work.
“By going back to the NEB, Kinder Morgan is still looking for an easy way to gain access to Burnaby’s legally protected land, and avoid the clear legal requirements under the bylaw,” says Burnaby legal counsel, Greg McDade QC. “Only a court can declare a bylaw to be inapplicable. The NEB claimed that they did not declare this bylaw invalid.
“We expect this issue will ultimately have to be determined by a court, and we are looking at our options, now that Kinder Morgan has decided to try to bypass the courts.”