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

  • Asian stocks post gains as oil price rallies

    Economic CTV News
    Shares in Asia are higher after an overnight advance on Wall Street spurred by the latest meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve. KEEPING SCORE: The Nikkei 225 stock index in Tokyo climbed 0.5 per cent to 19,849.10 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5 per cent to 25,559.00. Source
  • Metrolinx appealing latest court loss over $770M contract with Bombardier

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Metrolinx has filed an appeal questioning the decision of an Ontario judge last month that preserved the transit agency's contract with Bombardier Transportation. The notice of appeal deepens the legal dispute between the Ontario transit agency and Bombardier over the company's ability to fulfil train orders in Toronto, where gridlock has become an increasing frustration for hundreds of thousands of commuters. Source
  • Majority say buying Canadian, even if price is higher, is more important: Nanos survey

    Economic CTV News
    The majority of Canadians say that buying Canadian products is more important to them, even if the price is higher, according to a recent Nanos survey. Fifty-two per cent of those surveyed said that it is more important to them personally to buy a Canadian product, even if it costs more, while 28 per cent said that buying the cheapest product is more important when it comes to shopping. Source
  • Female CEOs make more than their male counterparts – but there are a lot less of them

    Economic Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Women CEOs earned big bucks last year, but there’s still very few of them running the world’s largest companies. The median pay for a female CEO was US$13.1 million last year, up 9% from 2015, according to an analysis by executive data firm Equilar and The Associated Press. Source
  • Feds launch contest for $950M 'supercluster' plan aimed at creating jobs, growth

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Trudeau government is opening the competition for its $950-million "supercluster" program that aims to bring together industry and academia as a way to lift the innovation economy. Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains is adding new details about deadlines and qualifying criteria for a five-year initiative central to the feds' innovation program. Source
  • New TD centre to create up to 575 jobs in Moncton over 6 years

    Economic CBC News
    The TD Bank expects to create up to 575 full-time jobs in Moncton over a six-year period when it opens a business services centre in 2019 with up to $9 million in help from the provincial government. Source
  • New York fines BNP Paribas $350 million in trading scheme

    Economic CTV News
    New York state regulators have fined French bank BNP Paribas $350 million, alleging bank employees for years manipulated global currency markets to benefit themselves at the expense of their customers. The New York Department of Financial Services said Wednesday that from 2007 to 2013 at least a dozen BNP Paribas traders manipulated the foreign exchange market, using chat rooms and fake trades in currencies including the South African rand, Hungarian forint and Turkish lira. Source
  • Bombardier and U.S. aerospace supplier Triumph settle legal dispute

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Bombardier and Triumph have reached a settlement about five months after the U.S. aerospace supplier filed a $455-million lawsuit against the Quebec-based aircraft manufacturer. Details of the settlement announced Wednesday were not disclosed. Source
  • New TD call centre will create 575 jobs in Moncton, N.B., province says

    Economic CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. -- TD has announced plans for a new call centre in Moncton, N.B., that the provincial government says will create up to 575 full-time jobs. The Toronto-based bank will receive up to $9 million in financial assistance from the government, which says the call centre will add $109-million to the province's GDP over six years. Source
  • Graco recalls My Ride 65 car seats in Canada for restraint defect

    Economic CBC News
    Graco's Canadian division is recalling 1,393 car seats with defective harness restraints. The recall affects certain "My Ride 65" model car seats manufactured between May 14, 2014 and July 30, 2014, according to a safety advisory from Graco. Source