Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley Saturday, June 1 to discuss the Trans Mountain pipeline. (Twitter)

Burnaby mayor wants more action on pipeline after meeting with Trudeau

The National Energy Board endorsed the pipeline expansion earlier this year

The mayor of Burnaby, B.C., says he met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss his concerns about the risk of a fire at a tank farm in his city, which would be the terminus of an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline.

Mike Hurley said he told Trudeau on Saturday that the facility on Burnaby Mountain is within five kilometres of forests and a residential area that would put thousands of lives in danger.

“I said, ‘If it goes ahead, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t, we have to have some serious discussions around safety and protecting our residents,’” said Hurley, a former firefighter.

He characterized the meeting as a good start but said an initial discussion with Trudeau has to be backed up by concrete measures from the federal government, which is expected to announce a decision on the future of the project later this month.

“I want to sit down and talk about the real issues in depth with people who are experts in that field to ensure that we’re getting the protection for our residents that we need,” Hurley said. “The prime minister and I talking about it doesn’t really produce anything.”

Trudeau attended a street festival in Burnaby immediately after meeting with Hurley but did not take any questions from media.

The Prime Minister’s Office said only that the meeting included representatives of the fire department and focused on local issues such as housing.

Hurley said he told Trudeau that Burnaby is bearing the brunt of the risk for a twinned pipeline that the federal government purchased for $4.5 billion and the Alberta government is pushing to have built.

“Everyone’s willing to put our community at risk to fulfil their needs and we need some answers,” Hurley said about the pipeline that would more than triple the amount of diluted bitumen flowing from the Edmonton area to a port in Burnaby.

“Any time you’re dealing with flammable liquids like oil there’s always a chance there can be a rupture of the tank, there can be a boilover of some sort within the tank that can cause really dangerous chemical reactions, not to mention fires that would come along with that.”

Hurley said he doesn’t agree with Alberta’s ad campaign launched last week in an effort to sway people in favour of a pipeline that he and many residents of Burnaby do not support.

He said the province’s focus on a future based on oil is “a fantasy.”

“The good old days of the oil industry are over and they need to start preparing for a new economy,” he said.

ALSO READ: Indigenous bidders for Trans Mountain pipeline await Ottawa decision

The National Energy Board endorsed the pipeline expansion earlier this year after reconsidering its effects on marine life off the coast of British Columbia.

Last month, pro-pipeline protesters rallying outside a Calgary office tower during a clean energy announcement by federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi chanted “build the pipeline.”

Sohi told reporters the government is working toward getting the pipeline built and has also said officials have been consulting with Indigenous communities.

The proposal to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline was first approved by cabinet in 2016. The Federal Court of Appeal rescinded that decision in August, saying neither an environmental review nor Indigenous consultations had been properly completed.

ALSO READ: Probe launched after pipeline protestor knocked down by police at Liberal fundraiser

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Clearwater Elks taking a hit because of COVID-19

President Marnie Burnell noted the group was already hurting before the pandemic came into effect

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

YCS receives support from Interior Savings’ relief fund

Money will go toward food programs and new technology to improve operations

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read