The Tofino-Long Beach chamber of commerce is terrified of what the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion could do to the local economy.

Tofino’s business community outraged by Kinder Morgan approval

“A spill or tanker accident would devastate our coast and our tourism economy along with it."

The Tofino-Long Beach chamber of commerce is piping mad at Ottawa.

The same business community that cheered Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to Tofino last summer, is now jeering him after the Liberal government’s approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project last week.

The chamber was a registered intervenor in the National Energy Board Kinder Morgan review process under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, a process the chamber criticized as flawed for its limited scope, inadequate response plans and failure to recognize local First Nations.

“We were unconvinced during the NEB process and remain unconvinced that either level of government could adequately deal with an oil spill,” said chamber president Jennifer Steven.

“Right now in Bella Bella, industry and provincial and federal government agencies are struggling to cope with a relatively minor oil spill, while the local Heiltsuk First Nation is left with a devastated local marine environment. That’s not an acceptable risk for us to take in the [chamber] board’s opinion.”

Immediately after Trudeau announced his decision to approve the pipeline expansion on Nov. 29, the chamber issued a statement expressing the local business community’s outrage.

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Tofino with his family this summer,” Steven said. “He, more than anyone, should know how vulnerable this area would be to an oil spill and how much we stand to lose in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with an economy primarily based on tourism.”

She said the chamber was surprised and disappointed by Trudeau’s decision.

“The Prime Minister, before he was elected, said the National Energy Board process was inadequate and that, if elected, his government would introduce a more inclusive process,” she said. “That’s not what happened.”

She said it was important for the chamber to voice its opposition to the project because of the devastating impacts it could bring to the local economy.

“A spill or tanker accident would devastate our coast and our tourism economy along with it,” she said.

“For us it represents simply too great a risk in terms the increase in tanker traffic coming within 50 kilometres of our beaches and coastline…We’re a tourism community and part of the Chamber’s mandate is the stewardship of Clayoquot Sound.”

The chamber is also raising concern over the West Coast being a blind-spot in the government’s spill response strategies.

“Currently, Tofino and the West Coast of Vancouver Island lie outside the spill response area for the Kinder Morgan pipeline, despite the fact this remote community would be on the front line in the event of a tanker accident,” the chamber said through its statement.

 

Just Posted

Organizers cancel 2019 Pacific Rim Whale Festival

Survey circulating to determine feasibility of revival.

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

Author presents wolf research in Tofino

Paula Wild surprised by polarized views of animals that are both loved and hated.

A cuddle and a coffee: Six Island towns named among Canada’s most cozy

Sidney, Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet crack Expedia’s top 40

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Bovine tuberculosis found in cow on southern B.C. farm

CFIA said the disease was found during slaughter and they are investigating

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

B.C.’s Esi Edugyan wins $100K Giller prize for Washington Black

Edugyan won her first Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues

Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.”

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose suspended for Grey Cup

Rose was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Mistrial declared in Dennis Oland’s retrial in father’s murder

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016 and a new trial ordered. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Most Read