BYPASSING BURNABY BYLAWS
Pipeline project can proceed: NEB
B.C.’s Environment Minister is sharply criticizing a National Energy Board ruling telling Kinder Morgan it can ignore Burnaby bylaws that stand in the way of its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
“I’m shocked at the ruling and frankly I’m angry on behalf of British Columbians,” George Heyman said in an interview Thursday.
“We’re reviewing the decision and exploring any options we have to appeal this decision. This is exactly why we’re fighting this project in Federal Court.”
Gregory McDade, Burnaby’s lawyer, said the municipality will consider an appeal.
In an order issued Thursday, the NEB said the company is not required to comply with two sections of the city’s bylaws as it prepares to begin construction in Burnaby.
Heyman said all cities and provinces should be concerned about the ruling, which appears to undercut their ability to set reasonable conditions and permitting requirements on national projects.
“Frankly the National Energy Board, with the assistance of the Government of Canada who stepped into the fray on this, appear to be looking to shortcircuit provincial and municipal authorities,” said Heyman. “We have rights to set conditions despite the fact this is a nationally regulated project.”
Heyman said B.C., for example, has been unable to issue Kinder Morgan with some provincial permits because the company doesn’t seem to understand its obligations in its applications.
Burnaby had argued in two days of hearings in Calgary that the company was to blame for the slow pace because of shoddy applications.
The ruling raises concerns about the company potentially pushing local governments all along the route into granting permits without the required information, Wilderness Committee climate campaigner Peter McCartney said in a statement.
“Kinder Morgan has used a manufactured dispute with Burnaby to bypass the ability for cities to protect their residents and environment.”