Municipal mayors and councillors voting on proposed resolutions Friday morning at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler.

Municipal mayors and councillors voting on proposed resolutions Friday morning at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler.

B.C. cities demand greater oil pipeline scrutiny, safety

Kinder Morgan pipeline twinning draws resolutions from Burnaby, Vancouver and Victoria at UBCM convention

Civic leaders worried about the threat of an oil spill disaster from Kinder Morgan’s planned Trans Mountain pipeline twinning pushed through a series of emergency resolutions Friday at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

A Burnaby resolution called on the federal government to restore full public hearings leading up to National Energy Board decisions.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said the current revised system is unfair because it denies stakeholders concerned about the Kinder Morgan project the same ability to give oral evidence and cross-examine witnesses that was available in the Northern Gateway pipeline hearings.

A second resolution from Victoria demands the province conduct its own environmental assessment of the Trans Mountain project in light of inadequate written responses from the company to information requests under the NEB process.

A Vancouver resolution that also passed keyed on concerns that diluted bitumen will sink in water and prove nearly impossible to clean up whether it’s spilled at sea or into a creek or river.

It urged the NEB to require site-specific plans to deal with sunken oil and that the province fully assess the plans and capability to respond to submerged bitumen.

“Bitumen does not float on the surface, it sinks to the bottom,” said Vancouver Coun. Heather Deal, refuting industry claims the heavy oil will float.

“The way to solve this is to have the oil refined in Alberta,” said Nelson Coun. Robin Cherbo. “Bitumen should not be sent through a pipeline.”

North Cowichan Coun. Al Siebring argued pipelines aren’t under municipal jurisdiction and such resolutions “dilute the credibility” of UBCM on more valid topics.

Earlier in the week, UBCM delegates narrowly defeated another Burnaby resolution calling for outright opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Several speakers feared denial of the project would result in more oil carried by rail at greater risk.

The City of Burnaby and Kinder Morgan continue to spar before the NEB as to whether pipeline survey crews can conduct intrusive study work on Burnaby Mountain after a preliminary ruling that the company cannot violate Burnaby bylaws.

Other resolutions passed Friday by UBCM included:

– A call from Kamloops to give municipal bylaw enforcement officers the power to break into vehicles and enter other non-residential premises to rescue animals in critical distress. City staff currently must call RCMP or SPCA officers if they find dogs about to perish in a parked car.

– A request that Telus priorize telephone landline repairs in rural areas, where residents may not have cellphone coverage and sometimes face a wait of weeks without 911 access if service fails.

– A resolution urging Ottawa to immediately restrict old rail tanker cars slated for a three-year phase out to carrying only non-volatile liquids.

– A resolution opposing provincial grants to municipalities with no residents, such as the new Jumbo Glacier Resort, which Invermere’s mayor said is the recipient of “ridiculous” government subsidies.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read