Letter: Reaction to Kinder Morgan pipeline approval

Tuesday, December 6 2016

When he announced the approval of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion, Prime Minister Trudeau assured us that it was safe; otherwise, he said, he would have rejected it. But the vast weight of expert evidence is that it is unsafe indeed, particularly for the thousands of people who live all around the expanded tank farm and the challenging tanker route through Burrard Inlet.

For instance, the Burnaby Fire Department submitted evidence that, under a number of plausible circumstances, it simply could not fight a fire at the overcrowded tank farm. Dr. Ivan Vince, one of the world’s leading experts on petrochemical safety, testified that the project raised so many concerns that it would not be approved in the UK or Europe. A half dozen reports by academic and other noted risk analysts revealed gaping holes in Kinder Morgan’s rosy risk estimates. Dating back to a Department of Environment and Fisheries study in 1978, experts have warned that Burrard Inlet is singularly unsuited for an oil terminal, its hazards never adequately studied. Trudeau’s claim that the approval was based on science and evidence is simply false. It was based on politics, and Steven Harper’s politics at that.

As with Trump and the Republicans ascendancy to the south, it is now up to us – we citizens, we ordinary people – to protect the communities and environment the government has abandoned. How deeply disappointing.

~ Bob Bossin