Kinder Morgan has applied to have boundaries changed in four provincial parks, including North Thompson Park near Clearwater and Finn Creek Park near Blue River.
The adjustments would be made to allow the proposed twinning of Kinder Morgan’s Transmountain pipeline.
The boundary changes should not be allowed to go ahead, according to Tim Pearson, director of communications with the Sierra Club of B.C.
“Parks are meant to be forever,” he said. “This could lead to the dismantling of the system.
North Thompson Park is a popular spot for residents of Clearwater and visitors to go hiking, fishing and cross-country skiing, he pointed out.
Finn Creek Park is used for hiking and skiing as well, plus is an important spawning ground for trout and salmon.
“The bigger issue is the government has opened up all the parks in the province to industrial uses,” Pearson said. “Any company can now do research in parks, and then apply for a boundary change.”
The doubling of the pipeline will lead to almost tripling its capacity, he said, which in turn will lead to greater danger of spills.
A pipeline spill near Kalamazoo in Michigan a few years ago has cost $1 billion so far to clean up, according to the Sierra Club spokesperson.
In an interview on CBC Radio, Minister of Environment Mary Polak said the process for changing park boundaries has not changed. Several applications are received routinely each year.
She pointed out that some of the parks (including North Thompson and Finn Creek) were created after the pipeline went through.
Possibly Kinder Morgan could purchase other land to make up for the land removed, she said.
Other parks that could be affected by Kinder Morgan’s application are Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Area near Kamloops and Bridal Veil Falls Park near Hope.