(VANCOUVER, BC - February 22, 2017) In an 8:2 vote today, Vancouver City Council passed a motion submitted by Councillor Adriane Carr to pursue a judicial review of the Province’s decision to give environmental approval to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline Expansion project in BC. The motion was seconded by Councillor Andrea Reimer. The two NPA councillors present voted against the motion.
Speakers to Carr’s motion included Councillor Charlene Aleck of the Tsleil Waututh Nation, who told Council that her First Nation had completed their own independent assessment of the Kinder Morgan project, included studies by 12 scientists, and had offered to share the results with the Premier and Province but did not even receive a response back to their request to meet. Speakers also included representatives of the Georgia Strait Alliance and Wilderness Committee.
“I’m very happy with the decision,” said Councillor Carr who explained that the city’s legal staff will now have to prepare a petition to be heard by the Supreme Court of BC which, if successful, will lead to the Court then conducting the judicial review of the Province’s decision. If the Court determines that the Province erred in issuing the Environmental Assessment Certificate, it could require that more environmental studies be done.
“It’s my firm belief that the Province erred in not conducting its own environmental studies before issuing its Environmental Assessment Certificate, relying instead on the environmental assessment done through the National Energy Board (NEB) process which the Province itself, along with many others including the City of Vancouver, said was inadequate. It’s particularly astounding that the Province stated that its five conditions of approval had been met, including world-leading marine oil spill response, when neither the NEB nor the Province conducted studies regarding how diluted bitumen would act if spilled in marine waters. How can the Province assert that marine oil spill response systems are adequate if no-one knows how bitumen will act when spilled,” questioned Carr.
Carr is confident that if the Province does a full and proper environmental assessment and incorporates studies from the Tsleil Waututh Nation's independent assessment, it will reverse its decision on the Kinder Morgan project and the pipeline expansion won't go ahead.