City opposes pipeline – no matter the route

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Stefania Seccia
The City of Burnaby has officially applied for intervener status on Kinder Morgan’s pipeline proposal, but does not yet have a strategy worked out on how to fight it.

As the Burnaby NOW previously reported, Kinder Morgan has shifted its attention to the secondary Burnaby routing option down the CN railway tracks. But when Mayor Derek Corrigan was asked about the alternative route, he said the city opposes the proposal as a whole.

“I was aware that they were proposing alternative routes, but I wasn’t sure which they had prioritized of the routes,” he told the NOW. “For us, who are opposed to the project in total, it hasn’t been an examination of which route is preferable. That’s one of the differences when you enter into this intervener status, there’s the potential of talking out of both sides of my mouth.”

When asked if he was concerned about the alternative route going under the railway, Corrigan said the whole proposal is cause for worry.

“We’re sensitive to railways right now,” he added, noting the recent coal derailment at Silver Creek on Jan. 11. “The whole issue gives me concern, but it’s difficult to turn around and say, well, this route gives me more concern than the other route.”

Corrigan said this is the first time the city has gone through this process, and they’re “attempting to figure out how to approach these issues.”

“I’ve had no chance to sit down with my lawyer yet and find out what his strategy may be and how he’s looking at management,” he said.

Corrigan said he’s nervous about the process, and they’re still trying to figure out how to focus on the issues that will affect Burnaby and how to address them.

At the last council meeting, Corrigan said he didn’t want the city to relive past mistakes.

“Putting Trans Mountain facilities here in the first place back in 1952 when park land was expropriated from Burnaby for the Burnaby Mountain tank farm, and when the Westridge terminal was installed on the ecologically sensitive Burrard Inlet waterfront was a historic mistake,” he said. “Why would we now want to exacerbate that error several fold, and why is Trans Mountain in such a hurry to ship so much of our oil out of our country?”

Corrigan said the oil bound for other destinations should be at least kept in Canada for future generations.

“Where is the long-term vision here?” he said. “This is oil our grandchildren will need.”

The expansion would bring more potentially negative impacts to construction and an increase in spills, Corrigan said.

Kinder Morgan’s expansion proposal is 15,000 pages along. In a section on economic impacts, it lists employment opportunities for spill response teams that would be created by the affected communities and regions, Corrigan said.

“In Burnaby, spill cleanup is not an employment sector we’re looking to expand,” he said. “In closing, this proposal is absurd.”

© Burnaby Now

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