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

Body found believed to be missing Chilliwack senior with dementia

Police says case is now in the hands of the coroner

Archaeology uncovers buried Sts’ailes history

The second annual UBC field school saw students excavating a village on traditional Sts’ailes land

Man dies after hit-and-run in Abbotsford

77-year-old pedestrian dies in hospital after collision on Marshall Road

Catholic church buys $7.5M equestrian facility in Abbotsford, plans ‘agri-retreat’ centre

Church hopes to grow crops, host students and others on Bradner property

VIDEO: Organization’s stolen wheelchair van recovered on backroad near Hope

Wheelchair accessible van is only transportation for some people in Hope and Fraser Canyon

Pickle me this: All the outrageous foods at this year’s PNE

Pickled cotton candy, deep-fried chicken skins, and ramen corndogs are just a start

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Mammoth sturgeon catch was ‘a fish of a lifetime’ for Chilliwack guide

Sturgeon was so enormous it tied for largest specimen every tagged and released in the Fraser

Fraser River sea bus proposed to hook into TransLink system

Maple Ridge councillor just wants to start discussion

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Most Read