Editor, The Times:
On Dec. 17, Kinder Morgan Canada stood before the National Energy Board to present our case for the multi-billion dollar expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system. It’s a pivotal milestone for our team and represents years of planning, scientific studies and meaningful consultation.
The scrutiny and rigor this project has undergone, both inside and outside of the formal review process, is unprecedented. The input and feedback we’ve gathered has created a stronger, safer and more responsive project.
Safety is the cornerstone of everything we do, and our team has carefully developed measures to protect the health of our workers, communities and ecosystems. And, 89 per cent of the proposed pipeline expansion parallels existing pipeline or utility infrastructure, minimizing community impacts.
One of the exciting things about leading an infrastructure project of this magnitude is talking about the direct and lasting economic benefits it would create for communities along the pipeline corridor and all Canadians. The expansion will create more than 123,000 person-years of employment through construction and operation of the pipeline.
The project will also create a long-term legacy of tax revenues to support vital government services that we all rely on. During construction and the first 20 years of operation, it will generate an additional $28.2 billion in taxes and royalties, and an additional $26.6 million in annual property taxes for local governments and reserves – that’s more than double the current amount.
The project is anticipated to require approximately $4.5 billion in goods and services, and will result in an estimated $480 million in direct construction workforce spending, such as meals, hotels and vehicle expenses, in communities along the route. New opportunities will flow into sectors such as transportation, manufacturing, engineering, legal, accounting, retail and hospitality. Local communities and Aboriginal groups will also benefit from the agreements that we’ve signed to provide funding for educational, environmental and infrastructure projects.
Clearwater residents will see significant benefits as a result of the expansion. If approved, the District will collect over $850,000 in taxes, and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District will collect over $13 million annually.
In addition, the expansion will result in $377 million in construction spending in Clearwater and Vavenby, and workers are expected to spend close to $35 million in the area on things such as accommodation, meals and clothing. And, Trans Mountain has signed a Community Benefit Agreement with the District to provide $390,000 in funding for various community projects, as well as local education and training opportunities.
Canada is and should remain an international model for responsible resource development and we should be proud of it. We share the value British Columbians place on the environment, and as part of the expansion, we have proposed additional measures to further enhance our industry-leading safety regime.
This includes a $100 million investment in Western Canada Marine Response Corporation to double response capabilities for the tanker route, create five new response bases, cut mandated response times in half and create up to 100 new jobs.
The world has changed since the original Trans Mountain Pipeline was built in 1953. We need an expanded pipeline system that will provide access to new, high-paying markets. But, communities can take comfort knowing it will be done safely while balancing social and environmental interests, addressing concerns raised by the public and unlocking billions of dollars in benefit to our country.
Today, we are more confident than ever that this is the right project, at the right time, for Canada.
Ian Anderson, president
Kinder Morgan Canada