- BC Games
Burke Mountain Naturalists bring pipeline debate to Tri-Cities
The Burke Mountain Naturalists are taking a stand against pipeline expansion in B.C. and hope a film and discussion later this month will bring others to their side.
What's At Stake, an evening of films and a panel discussion, is taking place Sunday, Sept. 22 at Evergreen Cultural Centre with the goal of spurring discussion about both the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline and Enbridge's Northern Gateway project, said Elaine Golds, a director with BMN.
Both the Gateway project and the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline require federal approval to move Alberta crude to B.C. terminals for export, and Golds says the projects don't make economic or environmental sense.
"We just don't think it's a good idea to be exporting diluted bitumen overseas. If we are going to use it, and only in small amounts, we should develop industries here, to take the dirtiest of our oil, the most carbon intensive… it makes very little environmental or economic sense. The idea [of the event] is to help people to understand some of the implications," Golds said.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark has insisted any new oil pipeline must meet five provincial conditions, including world-class land and marine safety provisions, the addressing of aboriginal issues and a share of benefits for B.C.
Meanwhile, the $5.4-billion Trans Mountain twinning project faces somewhat fewer obstacles because the pipeline is already twinned along a third of the corridor, it faces less First Nations opposition and it uses an established tanker route and an existing land right-of-way. The company is expected to file an application later this year with the National Energy Board.
However, Golds is concerned about a possible spill that could effect marine life in Burrard Inlet.
If approved, the Kinder Morgan twinning would increase the flow of petroleum products from 300,000 barrels per day now to 890,000 and boost the number of tankers coming and going from the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby from 40 to 70 a year to 400.
Trans Mountain meanwhile says it has been safely and efficiently providing the only West Coast access for Canadian oil products for almost 60 years and will meet regulatory requirements.
Co-hosted with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, What's at Stake will feature of two films about the Great Bear Rainforest, "Reflections: art for an oil-free coast," and "Groundswell."
There will also be a panel discussion with Golds and representatives from Forest Ethics, the Georgia Strait Alliance and Raincoast.
• Tickets are $10 and $5 for students and seniors; the event runs from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m. at Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam. Call 604-927-6555 or on line at http://www.evergreenculturalcentre.ca.
— with files from Jeff Nagel