BBOT Statement on Trans Mountain Expansion Project

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal cabinet has approved the $6.8 billion Trans Mountain Expansion Project which will expand an existing pipeline which currently runs from Strathcona County (Edmonton) to the Westridge Terminal here in Burnaby.

While understanding the economic justification for the project and supporting responsible resource development, the Burnaby Board of Trade had serious concerns with this project as it was proposed and voiced those through the review process. However, with today’s announcement the Burnaby Board of Trade accepts the decision of the federal cabinet and the conclusion of a years-long approval process and will look to work with Kinder Morgan to find ways of helping local businesses maximize the benefits of this significant project while ensuring our concerns and all regulatory conditions are addressed.

The Burnaby Board of Trade took every opportunity to contribute to the review process and share our findings with our membership, the media, all levels of government, the National Energy Board as part of the official approval process, and most recently with the Ministerial Panel for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

Throughout the review process, the Burnaby Board of Trade sought to thoughtfully evaluate the project through our triple bottom line perspective of economic, social, and environmental priorities. A task force of our Board of Directors was struck and met with a number of experts, interest groups, and stakeholder parties in order to develop a serious, considered position on the project.

In its reports on the project, the Burnaby Board of Trade articulated the economic imperative for opening new markets for Canada’s oil exports and the economic benefits of responsible resource development.  However, the Burnaby Board of Trade identified several concerns around specific aspects of the project particularly with respect to the impact of seismic activity on the pipeline and tank farm and the appropriateness of an urban setting as the terminus.

With the approval process now concluded, the Burnaby Board of Trade trusts Kinder Morgan will proceed with meeting the 157 conditions set out by the National Energy Board and the 5 conditions of the Province of BC, as well as addressing the concerns raised by ourselves and others as the Trans Mountain Expansion Project moves forward.