Vancouver makes one last plea for Ottawa to squash the Trans Mountain Expansion
Kinder Morgan is being subjected to yet another round of public consultations on the proposed Trans Mountain Expansion, this time being organized by a 3-member panel appointed by the Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr. The panel includes Kim Baird, former Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation, Tony Penikett, a First Nations mediator/negotiator and Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winnipeg.
The group has organized a series of town halls in 10 communities across BC and Alberta, which is now in its final stretch in BC's lower mainland, where it faces the most opposition.
This round of reviews is intended to engage "local communities and Indigenous peoples" and review feedback on the project. Vancouver Mayor Greg Robertson is making one last plea to kill the project, insisting just one spill could decimate Vancouver's economy and reputation.
Robertson says he has faith that his close friend Justin Trudeau will make the “right decision” at the end of the day and reject the pipeline expansion. The mayor is confident the government can find other ways to support Alberta's economy.
The panel admits that Canada's transition to a low carbon future will be challenging. Feedback so far from opponents are that the National Energy Board (NEB) didn’t adequately assess spill or climate change risks and that First Nations’ consultations has been inadequate.
The group insists they don't have a particular view on the project but have instead been tasked with determining if the NEB did an adequate job. The panel's recommendations to the federal government are non-binding.
The NEB recommended approval of the project last May after over 4 years (and counting) of planning and cross-country reviews.
After the Vancouver town-halls are completed, the panel heads to its last stop in Victoria, BC.