Burnaby Board of Trade releases in-depth pipeline review
On Wednesday, January 14th, the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) released an independent review of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and its potential implications for Burnaby.
The review was prepared by a special task force appointed by the BBOT Board of Directors following the Board of Trade’s successful application for commenter status at the upcoming National Energy Board hearings. The process of creating the report has taken nearly a year and is based on information from various academic studies, consultant reports, government reports, news stories, and other resources. The task force also conducted meetings and consultations with various interest groups including the City of Burnaby, Kinder Morgan, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED), among others.
“As the voice of business in Burnaby, representing our 1,200 members, we felt we had a responsibility to fully explore the Trans Mountain proposal so that we could provide thoughtful, objective insight to inform both our members and our Letter of Comment to the National Energy Board,” said BBOT President & CEO Paul Holden.
The BBOT’s review acknowledges the need for greater access to international markets for Canadian oil products and supports responsible resource development, but also questions the current expansion plans as proposed, citing concerns with respect to the impact of seismic activity on the pipeline, as well as the risk to Burnaby as the project terminus – and whether the economic benefits outweigh those concerns. The review also cites the lack of a cooperative relationship between the project proponents and key local stakeholders as an area of concern.
The review addresses a large number of economic considerations that have been hot topics in the pipeline conversation, including market access, job creation, and tax revenues. It balances that discussion with consideration of pipeline safety and routing, shipping safety, spill response, and liability and responsibility.
“In accordance with the BBOT’s commitment to a triple bottom line of social, environmental, and economic results, we wanted to make sure we took into consideration all the factors that might determine whether the project is ultimately of net benefit to Burnaby,” said Holden. “The Board of Trade and our Board of Directors are very satisfied that this review is fair, impartial, and most importantly that are our conclusions are based on the most correct information available.”