Vancouver’s mayor says he will “vigorously advocate” for the federal government to reject the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
This afternoon the National Energy Board delivered an approval of the expansion project despite years of opposition from numerous politicians, civil rights and environmental groups.
Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson opposes the project and, while speaking in a Kitsilano park overlooking the harbour, says this is a call to action.
“We’re very disappointed that the National Energy Board did not have a fulsome process that welcomed in all voices, that looked at the impacts of climate change resulting from this proposal, that looked at the impacts on Vancouver’s economy which are inevitable when there’s an oil spill in our waters.”
Robertson says it’s in Canada’s best interest to turn down the project.
Robertson says the more than fifty environmental conditions laid out by the NEB are “not going to do anything to prevent” what he calls “an inevitable catastrophe that would happen with an oil spill” off of B.C.’s coast.
“It’s unthinkable to most people to see a catastrophic oil spill in these waters. We had a very minor one last summer and it had a massive impact on this region in terms of awareness and concern, what this would look like if a whole super tanker was breached here.”
According to Robertson an oil spill would severely impact Vancouver’s tourism industry.
“There is no way you could mitigate an oil tanker going over in the waters here in Vancouver. It would have a catastrophic impact on our economy. This city sells itself as one of the most beautiful in the world that attracts tourists and investment because of what we have here, all of that is at-risk if there is an oil spill.”
A three member federal review panel will present its report on the project in November, with a Cabinet decision due in December.