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.

Just Posted

Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News earns four national awards

The Westerly was announced as the recipient of four Canadian Community Newspaper Awards last week.

Culture provides authentic means to education for Ahousaht and Klemtu students

Tying lessons into a real-world scenario creates a more significant and community-based classroom

Tofino police believe alcohol was a factor in Thursday night car crash

The crash knocked out power to the community from 6:44-10:01 p.m

Ucluelet Secondary School Class of 2019 embark on a new chapter

School will host graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 15 at 2 p.m.

Tofino celebrates new $200K playground

“It’s all designed around risky play and having fun.”

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read