Trans Mountain pipeline project hasn't yet met B.C.'s 5 conditions: minister

VANCOUVER -- Kinder Morgan is failing British Columbia's test for proceeding with a proposed pipeline expansion, so far unable to prove it will meet key safety requirements or serve the province's best interests, the environment minister says.

See Full Article

Mary Polak said the Texas company has not provided enough evidence in its plans for the Trans Mountain pipeline to convince the government it can meet five pre-conditions for approval.

The province said in its final written submission to the National Energy Board on Monday that it is unable to support the pipeline expansion from Alberta to the West Coast.

"We're saying that at this time in the NEB process they have not met (the test)," Polak said Monday in a teleconference with reporters. "It does not close the door on them meeting that test in the future."

British Columbia's stand comes as Kinder Morgan attempts to clear the final hurdles in the federal environmental assessment process. On May 20, a three-member panel is set to inform the federal cabinet whether it approves the project. Ottawa then has three months to make its decision.

The energy board considers issues specific to environmental effects likely to be associated with a project. The B.C. government's submission, therefore, only highlights concerns about Kinder Morgan's proposed spill prevention and response regime, pertaining to the ocean and land, Polak said.

But the government was also not satisfied that the company had achieved mandatory targets related to First Nations or ensuring the province receives its fair share of economic benefits, she said.

Polak said the onus is on Kinder Morgan to uphold its pledge to meet the province's five conditions.

"These are real conditions, they're not a straw man put up to ensure that nobody can ever meet them."

Trans Mountain is "confident" it will be able to satisfy the province by the time the regulatory process is complete, the company said in a statement.

But it said the conditions include several requirements the company cannot fulfil alone, noting multiple partners must work together on issues including world-leading marine oil spill response, addressing aboriginal treaty rights and ensuring B.C. gets its due.

"If approved by the NEB, Trans Mountain is confident that the construction and long-term operation of the project will be done to the highest standards of environmental performance, support aboriginal communities and provide lasting benefits for British Columbians, Albertans and Canadians," the statement said.

Reaction was mixed among various groups with stakes in the proposed expansion.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson supported the province's stance, noting the city also holds a "wide array of substantial concerns" that could put its forecasted economic growth in jeopardy.

John Ranta, chairman of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, disagreed with B.C. and said he represents the point of view of communities that would benefit from possible jobs and other financial benefits.

"It's a disappointment to hear that the province is turning their back on a mega-project," he said.

The premier's office in Alberta said B.C. had simply restated its position by outlining requirements for all heavy-oil pipelines.

"Fundamentally, there is nothing new in this filing. We encourage Kinder Morgan to continue working with the federal government and the government of B.C. on these issues."

Many environmental advocacy groups lauded the province, including Sierra Club BC, ForestEthics Advocacy, Dogwood Initiative, Wilderness Committee, Environmental Defence and Greenpeace.

Several noted the new federal government promised to revamp the Kinder Morgan review completely, but so far no changes have been made at the energy board.

"We're hoping Ottawa steps in before the Harper-appointed board approves another flawed project on the basis of incomplete evidence," said Dogwood Initiative spokesman Kai Nagata, referring to the former Conservative government led by Stephen Harper.

The project, estimated in 2013 to cost at least US$5.4 billion, would double an existing pipeline that runs from a community near Edmonton to the Vancouver area. It would nearly triple capacity to 890,000 barrels a day.

Next month, the energy board is scheduled to hear oral arguments from interveners in Burnaby, B.C., and Calgary.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Home sales rebound in December after large drop in November: CREA

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales climbed 2.2 per cent in December compared with November as they recovered from a dip following the introduction of new mortgage rules. On a year-over-year basis, the real estate association says home sales were down five per cent last month compared to December 2015. Source
  • IMF: Canada will outpace most G-7 economies in 2017-2018

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON, Wash. - The International Monetary Fund says uncertainty surrounding the incoming Donald Trump administration in the United States is making it difficult to forecast how the global economy will perform this year. But the Washington-based IMF says it estimates the Canadian economy will grow by 1.9 per cent in 2017 and 2.0 per cent in 2018. Source
  • IMF: Canada will outpace most G7 economies in 2017-2018

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON, Wash. - The International Monetary Fund says uncertainty surrounding the incoming Donald Trump administration in the United States is making it difficult to forecast how the global economy will perform this year. But the Washington-based IMF says it estimates the Canadian economy will grow by 1.9 per cent in 2017 and 2.0 per cent in 2018. Source
  • OPEC cuts, while the U.S. turns on the oil taps

    Economic CBC News
    It's been a few weeks since members of OPEC started cutting production. Saudi Arabia said last Wednesday that its production is the lowest it's been in two years, Iraq said that it had made cuts, as did Kuwait. Source
  • Stark inequality: Oxfam says 8 men as rich as half the world

    Economic CTV News
    DAVOS, Switzerland -- The gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the global population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday. Source
  • Who are the 8 richest people? All men, mostly Americans

    Economic CTV News
    DAVOS, Switzerland -- The eight individuals who own as much as half of the rest of the planet are all men, and have largely made their fortunes in technology. Most are American, with one European and one Mexican in the mix. Source
  • German ministers reject Trump remarks on car tariffs

    Economic CTV News
    BERLIN -- Senior German officials reacted with surprise and defiance Monday to comments made by President-elect Donald Trump, who said in an interview that NATO was "obsolete" and threatened Germany's automakers with hefty import taxes. Source
  • EU nations react with surprise, defiance to Trump remarks

    Economic CTV News
    BERLIN -- European Union nations reacted with surprise and defiance Monday to comments by U.S. president-elect Donald Trump, who said in an interview that he believed NATO was "obsolete" and that more member states would leave the 28-nation EU. Source
  • Former Alberta oilpatch workers hesitant to return as activity picks up

    Economic CBC News
    John Fodchuk says life is good for him and his family in Weyburn, Sask. There's no carbon tax, and there's plenty of optimism and opportunity — a sharp contrast to the Alberta he left behind. Source
  • Hope for the best, plan for the worst when budgeting for a home reno

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ali Bisram has less-than-fond memories of her basement bathroom renovation project. "It was supposed to be around $2,500 to $3,000. We just wanted to replace the toilet and the vanity and put in a smaller shower, a little corner unit," says Bisram, a 35-year-old government administrative co-ordinator in Brampton, Ont. Source