Vancouver Wants A Referendum On Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Originally Published in the ECOreport

Vancouver City Hall – photo by Iota 9 at en.wikipedia
Vancouver City Hall – photo by Iota 9 at en.wikipedia

The City of Vancouver will not be holding a plebiscite next November after all. Vancouver wants a Referendum on Kinder Morgan Pipeline. They will be calling on the Canadian Government “to provide for any local government affected by Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker expansion project to hold a referendum under the federal Referendum Act.” This referendum is to be held after the hearings and conducted according to the process outlined in the federal Elections Act – which includes contribution and spending limits and a ban on corporate and union donations – and would be paid for by the Federal Government.

Councillor Andrea Reimer – Courtesy the City of VancouverThough Vision Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer supported the concept behind Adrianne Carr’s plebiscite motion, she did not like the mechanics proposed to achieve it. Reimer was concerned about the freedom “big oil” would have to pour money into the process. She made a “strike and replace motion,” calling for a referendum.

This received the immediate support of Vision Vancouver councillors Tony Tang and Kerry Jang

Carr disagreed. She thought it “extraordinarily unlikely” that the Harper Government “will ever respond positively to this motion,” but reluctantly gave it her vote.

The motion to ask for a referendum passed 9-0.

Mayor Robertson had previously submitted a “motion on notice” about the fact that “several hundred BC residents have been denied access to the National Energy Board process and the ‘hearing’ itself will involve no oral arguments outside of an ‘oral summary’ for intervenors.

Vancouver City Council resolved to “write to the Federal Government requesting that they direct the National Energy Board to allow all applicants to speak, conduct oral hearings, and allow for full cross-examination in the Trans Mountain pipeline hearings.”

In addition, the City of Vancouver will hold its own meetings where the public can voice their concerns.

Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan spoke about the risks connected to magnitude of the proposed increase of oil and the type of oil being moved. He recounted the problems his municipality had dealing with a pipeline break in 2007.

“We do not have the capacity in a local government to deal with issues this big,” he said.

Corrigan also said that the decision-making process “so bastardized, that no longer is it anywhere close to seeing if this project is truly in our best interest.”

Amanda Nahanee of the Squamish Nation supported the city’s motion, saying it was important that everyone be given a voice.


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