The announced environmental assessment and engagement period for the Kinder Morgan review is not enough to call it a fair and inclusive deliberation process. The open letter below is on behalf of BC businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs and individuals who want to see the Kinder Morgan interim review measures expanded to:
- Reflect how bitumen behaves in coastal waters
- Take into consideration the economic risks of a significant spill
- Allow for more rigorous cross-examination of evidence presented so far
Thank you to everyone who signed on!
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
We want to congratulate you on your election and for the bold steps you have taken in your first months in office. We know you face significant challenges: leading the fight against climate change while making Canada a leader in responsible economic development. We know you and your team are committed to these outcomes.
Over the course of the election campaign, you repeatedly made commitments to transform the National Energy Board (NEB) review process to ensure decisions made are based on science and evidence, and made in the public’s interest. Now that interim measures towards improving Kinder Morgan’s review have been announced, we want to ensure that you and your cabinet are keeping your commitments to put major projects through a rigorous review process that considers the interests of coastal businesses and other local sectors that would be impacted by the TMEP.
The measures so far announced, while encouraging, still need to be strengthened. They need to reflect how bitumen behaves in coastal waters, take into consideration the economic risks of a significant spill, and allow for rigorous cross-examination of the evidence presented so far.
Our unparalleled natural environment, high quality of life and Beautiful BC brand contribute to the growth of high technology, tourism, clean energy, agriculture, real estate, and creative industries in all regions of the province. This unique brand is BC’s calling card, and it’s brought much-needed talent and investment here. It’s also why major international conferences like TED have come to Vancouver, bringing millions of dollars into our city’s economy. We know that you and your Cabinet value these sectors and the thousands of jobs that are dependent on BC being a wonderful place to live. These vital industries would be put at unacceptable risk by an avoidable oil spill along our coast.
There is a lack of faith in the NEB review process here in BC, and the interim measures announced recently only go a short way to addressing a long list of concerns. It is necessary that this project be subject to a fact-based environmental and economic assessment, and equally important, that evidence be cross-examined and tested. There remain many unanswered questions posed by intervenors, leaving uncertainty for the BC business community and other stakeholders.
There are indications that the TMEP will generate unnecessary capacity even by the calculations of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)’s own high growth estimates. This calls into question the business case for the project when vital resources and investments can be directed to infrastructure and energy sources that will support the commitments Canada made to climate change at COP21. It is unclear to many how expanded bitumen transport and production can be reconciled to those commitments.
A poll released in December by the Georgia Strait Alliance suggests that 68% of the province’s residents want the NEB’s review of the Kinder Morgan pipeline halted until the process itself can be overhauled. Municipal leaders took a stand against the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline when mayors from Burnaby, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Victoria, Squamish and Bowen Island signed a declaration calling on the federal government to put the proposal on hold until the NEB addresses the significant deficiencies in its public hearing and review process. This was echoed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Union of BC Municipalities, while the Province of British Columbia has now formally opposed the project as well, on grounds that the proponent has not put forward a compelling case for the impact and management of spilled bitumen on our coastline.
The one thing you made very clear is that there needs to be social license. There needs to be public trust before projects like these can go ahead. We await further details about your planned government consultation with communities and partnering with indigenous peoples, and incorporating the best science available into the environmental assessment. You need to reassure Canadians that the potential economic, social and environmental risks are being assessed, and that these projects are truly in the best interests of current and future Canadians. You said so yourself when you spoke at Vancouver City Hall on December 18th.
That is why CRED and numerous BC businesses are calling on you to further strengthen the interim measures. We support a review that is open and inclusive, and in line with our national energy goals, values, and our international commitments. Please give BC businesses, First Nations and residents a voice in whether increased numbers of heavy oil pipelines will cross our landscape and tankers should pass through our waters. Please stand on guard for us as we stand on guard for Canada.
Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED)
Board of Change
Green Chamber of Commerce BC
Brook Pooni Associates
Festival Cinemas Ltd
Global Partners Consulting Canada Inc
Denman Island Chocolate
Big Green Island Transportation
Fraser Heights Animal Hospital
M2O Digital Agency
Noam Dolgin Sustainable Real Estate
The Island Book Shoppe
Port Moody Health
C3 Policy Consulting
Annabel Young Realtor
Fools Bay Entertainment Ltd.
Pure Design Inc.
Michael Barkusky CPA
Royal Printers & Social Print Paper
Vancouver Renewable Energy
Pure Souls Media
International Web Express
Patricia Lane Settlement Co.
Praxispoint Consulting Group
Colony Farm Park Association (CFPA)
Friends of Brooks Point
Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion – BROKE
BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA)
Dr. Rashid Sumaila
Wendy McKim Murphy
Leslie de Bie