On May 13 Vancouver City Council will consider a motion submitted by Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr calling on City Council to add a plebiscite question to the November 15, 2014 election ballot on Kinder Morgan's plans to increase the number of tankers to up to ten per week carrying tar sands oil through Vancouver's harbour and the ocean waters adjacent to Vancouver's shores. A nearly unanimous vote of Green Party of Vancouver members at the Special General Meeting which nominated Carr, Cleta Brown and Pete Fry as the party's council candidates for the upcoming civic election, supported a November election plebiscite question on this issue. A plebiscite would offer the public the chance to democratically inform City Council of their opinion prior to the National Energy Board's Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion hearings. The City of Vancouver is an intervenor in those hearings, scheduled to commence in January of 2015.
Plebiscite on Kinder Morgan’s Plans to Increase Tanker Traffic through Vancouver Waters
1. Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, with its plans to nearly triple the number of tankers to an estimated 10 per week carrying Alberta tar sands dilbit (diluted bitumen) to foreign markets through Vancouver water, poses increased risks of oil spills and leakages that threaten the health of Vancouver’s citizens, environment, shorelines, beaches and tourism economy;
2. The export of increased quantities of tar sands oil exacerbates global warming by increasing the mining and burning of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, threatening Vancouver’s greenest city goals of climate leadership and threatening the city through rising sea levels, acidification of the ocean, increased and more severe storm events and increased summer droughts;
3. Whereas City Council passed a motion on February 28 2012 to ensure that the public has ample and appropriate opportunity to inform Council’s formal input to the Kinder Morgan National Energy Board (NEB) application;
4. The NEB hearings scheduled to start in January 2015 on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project is streamlining and fast-tracking the approval process through limiting public participation compared to previous NEB hearings by denying thousands of people who applied to participate the chance to be heard, limiting commentators to just a one-page written statement with no possibility of presenting oral statements as were allowed in previous hearing processes and not allowing intervenors to question witnesses;
5. The City of Vancouver is an intervenor in the Kinder Morgan NEB hearings and it is advantageous and incumbent to report citizens views on the project, which can most thoroughly be obtained through a plebiscite prior to the hearings;
6. The City of Kitimat held a plebiscite in April 2014 on the proposed Enbridge pipeline project which brought about robust public education and debate and resulted in a 58.4% vote against the proposed Enbridge pipeline project with a 62% voter turnout;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
1. Vancouver City Council add a plebiscite question to the November 15, 2014 election ballot on Kinder Morgan’s plans to increase oil tanker traffic through Vancouver’s harbour and the ocean waters adjacent to Vancouver’s shores.
TO SPEAK TO THIS MOTION, REGISTER BY 5:00 PM MONDAY MAY 12 BY:
Calling the City Clerk’s office at 3-1-1
or Emailing MayorAndCouncil@vancouver.ca
You can also sign-up in person up to 10 minutes before the meeting.