I attended the open house put on by Trans Mountain Pipelines at C.E. Barry last week.
This was about the proposal currently in the provincial and national approval processes which will twin the pipeline currently running through Hope.
It will use primarily the current right of way from Edmonton through to Burnaby and down to Sumas in Washington State.
The company had all their experts out and made a great presentation through story boards.
It seems really clear to me that this option is superior environmentally and economically to the plan for the Northern Pipeline route although over the next two years the argument will be put for both and the opportunity for views from all sides will be heard.
In my own case, I am interested in the catastrophic risk management plan (since we are prone to earthquakes). The company has promised to get back to me on that point and the approval authorities will certainly require such assurances.
However, my purpose for writing is to emphasize for readers the positive economic impact for Hope as it is easy to get lost in all the detail.
The company states that in excess of $1.2 million annual taxes will be generated from the increased assessment after the project is completed.
Currently about $600 thousand is generated. By way of example, this injection would fund the annual deficit in local road reconstruction ($150,000 is budgeted but engineering evaluation says $800 thousand is required).
Alternatively the costs to remediate the obsolete landfill site could be mitigated or if the above issues are all dealt with soon (definitely wishful thinking given the overall economic climate!), the increase would represent about $222 per household annually available for disposition as district council determines.
The province, in my opinion, gives arbitrary and insufficient support for municipal budgets.
Add to that its penchant for downloading its responsibilities, as well as using conditional grants to gain local support for the government of the day, it would be nice to have the power to better fund our own priorities for a change. Approval of this project would be a good start.