Council Matters - October 4, 2012

On Wednesday, October 3, Council debated a motion to oppose projects that would increase oil tanker traffic in coastal waters. Two proposed projects, the twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline from Edmonton to Vancouver and the Enbridge pipeline to Kitimat, have generated a great deal of concern in many BC communities. Local government politicians have been lobbied by members of the public to take a stand against these pipelines. A similar motion to the one above passed by a slim margin at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention held last week.

Kinder Morgan's pipeline currently carries both refined products and dilute bitumen (dilbit) to Vancouver for shipment by tanker. The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline would bring dilbit to BC's coast for export by tanker. There was some agreement on Council that bitumen is an extremely toxic and extraordinarily difficult substance to deal with if spilled. However, the majority of Council was uncomfortable supporting the motion as presented because it dealt with all oil tanker traffic. It was also suggested that the UBCM was the appropriate forum for individual members of Council to express their opinion.

Although no motion was passed, there was a healthy discussion of the issue. Many questions were raised and we have all become better informed about this issue. Council also suggested that all concerned members of  our community should contact their representatives in the Provincial and Federal governments to express their concerns.