Vancouver mayor, chiefs heading to Ottawa next month to oppose Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Robertson has been critical of the expansion, along with many First Nations.

Kenneth Jackson
APTN National News
OTTAWA – The mayor of Vancouver is planning a trip to Ottawa early next month along with a delegation of First Nations chiefs to express their opposition to Kinder Morgan’s planned expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Details of the trip are still being finalized, but APTN was told it’s scheduled for June 7 and Mayor Gregor Robertson is said to be one of the organizers of the delegation that includes the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. More details of the trip will be released June 3 in Vancouver.

It’s not known if the delegation has secured time with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but Robertson and chiefs are expecting to meet with “many MPs.” APTN requested an interview with Robertson but his staff said he wasn’t available.

The National Energy Board conditionally approved the Kinder Morgan’s expansion May 19 with 157 conditions, including a requirement to account for and offset greenhouse gas emissions for pipeline construction.

Kinder Morgan said the new condition will add millions of dollars to the project, but gives the company a chance to reduce its environmental footprint.

Construction of the pipeline is expected to result in one million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Trudeau government is expected to make a final decision on project in December.

If approved, the project would be completed by the end of 2019.

Robertson has been critical of the expansion, along with many First Nations.

The $6.8 billion expansion would nearly triple the existing crude oil pipeline’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C.

Robertson said on May 19 that Vancouver has no faith the board’s conditions will prevent the “inevitable catastrophe” of an oil spill.

“We see this as window dressing on a recommendation that is effectively a rubber stamp,” he said. “None of us had any confidence in this process all along.”

Stewart Phillip, grand chief of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, was arrested in the fall of 2014 on Burnaby mountain for protesting Kinder Morgan and recently told APTN he “absolutely, without question,” is willing to get arrested again.

“In many ways, (the) NEB decision will represent a call to arms to the multitude of groups and organizations that are vehemently opposed the Trans Mountain pipeline proposal,” Phillip said. “It will serve to exasperate and escalate an already volatile situation with respect to the grave concerns people have in regard to a catastrophic tanker spill or a mainline rupture along the route.”

Attempts to reach Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan, who has also been critical of the expansion, were unsuccessful.

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-with files from The Canadian Press 




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