BROKE hosts town hall on pipeline expansion

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Wanda Chow
By Wanda Chow – Burnaby NewsLeader
Published: October 04, 2012 11:00 AM
Updated: October 04, 2012 1:41 PM

Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE) hosts its first town hall meeting on Oct. 10 to raise awareness of its concerns about the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

And while members of the recently-formed group debated over whether to invite Kinder Morgan Canada to send a representative, in the end they didn’t.

“We figured Richard Kinder has enough money, he can do his own advertising,” said Karl Perrin, a BROKE spokesperson, referring to the parent company’s CEO and chairman.

“Because our name is Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion, so we’re not trying to fool anybody. We are opposed.”

The group, whose members and supporters number about 50, was started initially by residents of Westridge, the North Burnaby neighbourhood where Kinder Morgan’s pipeline was ruptured by an excavator in 2007.

“They bonded to some extent because of the disaster in 2007 with oil in their neighbourhood,” Perrin said. “When they heard about the expansion, they thought,

‘wait a minute, we’ve got to do something about it.'”

The pipeline runs from Edmonton to Burnaby and the proposed expansion would increase its capacity from the current 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 750,000 bpd to allow for increased exports of bitumen crude oil from the Alberta oil sands to overseas markets.

BROKE members did some door-to-door canvassing a month ago, Perrin said. “Pretty well everyone had heard about it and pretty well everyone was opposed.”

The group’s concerns largely revolve around the proposal’s potential impact on the environment. Increased tanker traffic would increase the likelihood of an oil spill in Burrard Inlet and the diluted bitumen is much more difficult to clean up than regular crude, he said. That, and the potential for local properties to be expropriated for the project.

Speakers at the town hall will include Mayor Derek Corrigan, Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, Sven Biggs of Tanker Free BC and/or Ben West of the Wilderness Committee.

BROKE member Mary Hatch will also speak about her experience having her Westridge home sprayed by oil in 2007, from the firefighter knocking on her door telling her to evacuate to the years of disruption during the remediation.

The town hall will be held Wednesday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m. at Confederation Seniors Centre, 4585 Albert St., Burnaby (near Willingdon Avenue).