An estimated 400 oil tankers would load each year from the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby if Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline twinning proceeds

An estimated 400 oil tankers would load each year from the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby if Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline twinning proceeds

Oil pipeline opposition call fails at UBCM

Fear of oil-by-rail risks a factor in split vote at UBCM on Kinder Morgan pipeline twinning

B.C. municipal leaders have narrowly voted to defeat a proposed resolution from Burnaby to oppose Kinder Morgan’s $5.4-billion oil pipeline twinning.

The issue went to an electronic vote Thursday at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention after a show of hands was too close to call. The final vote was 49.3 per cent in favour of the resolution and 50.7 per cent opposed.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said the pipeline project – which would triple the size of a tank farm near homes in Burnaby and result in a seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic through Burrard Inlet – is too risky.

He also argued the federal government has no strategy to maximize jobs in Canada by ensuring bitumen is refined here instead of in China.

“The risks of increasing oil tanker traffic are all to the down side for the B.C. coast,” said Islands Trust chair Sheila Malcolmson. “We get no benefit, there’s no refining, no jobs for us, our salmon industry’s at risk, our tourism industry is at risk and our first responders who would be on the front lines are at risk.”

But delegates from communities along the Thompson River said they fear a surge in oil tanker trains will run on the rail line through the region if the 60-year-old Kinder Morgan pipeline is not twinned to carry oil sands bitumen from Alberta.

“That can be used to move oil and there are no restrictions at all,” Clearwater Mayor John Harwood said.

Thompson-Nicola Regional District director Tim Pennell argued the current cleanup response capability for a marine oil spill is very limited in the Vancouver area and the Trans Mountain project would bring a “huge improvement.”

After the vote, Corrigan said he was disappointed but insisted the split vote still sends a “strong message” of concern from B.C. civic leaders.

He said opposition came mainly from self-interested rural B.C. delegates who are worried about increased oil-by-rail shipments and who greatly outnumber urban representatives at UBCM.

“It shows the scare tactic that’s been put out by these companies has worked,” Corrigan said. “They’ve said they’re going to do it regardless, whether it goes by pipeline or by rail.”

But one of the ‘no’ votes  against the resolution came from one of Burnaby’s closest neighbours – Belcarra mayor Ralph Drew – who said rural communities are right to fear oil trains.

“We have to face the reality that the oil is going to move and that the increasing use of rail to move oil is probably a ten-fold greater risk than by pipeline,” Drew said in an interview.

“The rail lines that come to the west coast come down the Fraser canyon on either side of the Fraser River,” he said. “The potential for a derailment and a real disaster is much much greater than anything that could possibly happen in transportation by pipeline.”

Islands Trust chair Sheila Malcolmson speaks in favour of a resolution opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline at UBCM.   Jeff Nagel photo

 

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read