We’re now getting a better picture of how much money the City of Vancouver has spent fighting the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.
A freedom of information request revealed the City has spent at least $323,000 opposing the controversial project.
The biggest chunk of that, $273,000, went to research which was used in the City’s evidence to the National Energy Board hearings in 2014 and 2015.
$24,000 was spent developing the website Notworththerisk.ca, while $13,000 went to a social media campaign including Facebook ads and $10,000 went to ads on online news outlets.
The City took part in the pipeline expansion project as an intervenor for over three years.
Not a full figure
Meanwhile, NPA councillor Melissa de Genova points out staff time and associated costs are not included in these numbers.
“I certainly will be making an inquiry on this as to how many staff hours went towards this, and I would guess that some of those staff hours would probably be our legal staff. And I understand that they are some of the highest paid staff at the City of Vancouver.”
de Genova also says some of the money was also spent for ads running in Ontario.
The City of Vancouver is also seeking a judicial review of the pipeline approval, and the figures above do not account for those legal costs.
Waste of money
Jordan Bateman with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the fight is a “waste of money.”
“Vision Vancouver opposed that pipeline for no other reason than because it doesn’t fit with their ideology and they have blown all this taxpayer money even though everyone and their uncle knew that nothing the City of Vancouver was bringing to the table actually mattered as far as the final calculation went.”
Bateman says he agrees with de Genova that staff time cost should also be factored into the final figures.