City reasserts opposition to Trans Mountain pipeline

The City of Victoria is once again voicing opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline project.

The City of Victoria is once again voicing opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline project that would triple the company’s capacity to carry oil from Alberta to the Lower Mainland.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps will write a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reasserting the city’s opposition to the roughly $6.8-billion project.

Last month, the National Energy Board recommended the federal government approve the natural gas pipeline expansion, subject to 157 conditions including 49 environmental requirements, that must be met if the project is to get the final stamp of approval. The expansion would add 230 kilometres of new pipeline to the company’s existing system that would carry nearly 900,000 barrels of crude oil a day, beginning in 2018.

Coun. Jeremy Loveday, who brought forward the motion along with Coun. Ben Isitt, said an oil spill off local shores would be “catastrophic.”

“It would be irreversibly catastrophic. When you look at our tourism sector, you look at the fact that when most people talk about what’s special about our region, it’s our environment, it’s our coastline. We need to speak up now to protect it now and for generations to come,” he said, adding other municipalities such as Vancouver, Burnaby and First Nations also oppose the project.

“I think it’s very important that we are sending this message . . . now that the new government is in place.”

Coun. Geoff Young was the only councillor to vote against the motion.

“By taking this absolutist position, we’re saying it’s enough to have enough traffic to serve our needs here, but we’re not prepared to have the traffic to serve the needs of other provinces of Canada,” Young said. “It’s not a primary function of our municipal government to address the issue of marine traffic safety, spill response and technology of tankers. I’m concerned that our credibility may be reduced by taking this absolutist position.”

The city previously stated their disapproval after it participated in National Energy Board hearings.

The federal government has seven months to make a decision on the expansion.