Protesters including Grand Chief Stewart Philip of the Union of B.C Indian Chiefs are escorted by police from an injunction area on Burnaby Mountain last November during test drilling by Kinder Morgan.

Metro inks park access deal with Kinder Morgan to scout oil pipeline route

Regional district will allow Trans Mountain crews access on foot, without machines, digging or sampling, in Surrey Bend, Colony Farm

Metro Vancouver is bracing for protests in regional parks such as Colony Farm and Surrey Bend after negotiating a deal with Kinder Morgan granting its crews access to plan the route of the proposed Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion.

Regional district staff outline the agreements in a briefing note that will be before Metro mayors at a meeting Friday.

It sets out 10 Metro-owned properties – including portions of newly created Surrey Bend Regional Park, Colony Farm Regional Park and the closed Coquitlam Landfill – where Trans Mountain crews have until Nov. 30 to conduct non-intrusive supervised visual surveys on foot.

Metro has forbidden the use of vehicles, machines or any digging or sampling, and it has reserved the right to terminate access on 24 hours notice, but regional district staff have still flagged the visits as a potential source of conflict with anti-pipeline protesters.

“Once the licence agreements are ratified and Trans Mountain accesses the properties, there is a high likelihood of stakeholder inquiries and media interest,” according to the briefing note.

“Conflict in the form of public protest and civil disobedience are considered real possibilities.”

If that prediction proves accurate, the two regional parks may be ground zero for a replay of the confrontations that took place last November on Burnaby Mountain, where more than 100 protesters were arrested.

More recently, protesters rallied against the project near the proposed route in Fort Langley on April 11.

The regional district has not formally adopted a position on the pipeline twinning and stresses the access agreements do not constitute any form of approval.

It also addressed public concern that Kinder Morgan may assemble pipeline components in Colony Farm park for a tunnel under the Fraser River, a possibility that has already sparked protests.

Metro Vancouver says it has not consented to any use of its lands for construction staging or temporary work space, nor has Trans Mountain made such a request.

Metro is an intervenor in the National Energy Board review of the project and has filed numerous questions to Kinder Morgan.

Regional district officials are expected to report back next month with their assessment of impacts on regional assets, infrastructure and the environment.

Friday’s meeting will also see Metro mayors meet and question NEB chair Peter Watson and Canada Coast Guard assistant commissioner Roger Girouard, who is likely to face more questions about spill preparedness in the wake of the April 8 spill of bunker fuel oil in Vancouver harbour.

For his part, NEB chair Watson, who is on a cross-country outreach tour, wants the mayors’ advice on how the agency can improve oversight of pipelines and provide cities more information they don’t already have.

Mayors are also to discuss a call by Burnaby for changes to the NEB public hearing process for the Kinder Morgan project.

Mayors from seven B.C. municipalities, including Burnaby and Vancouver, have already issued a declaration of non-confidence in the NEB review.

Pipeline protesters squaring off against police on Burnaby Mountain last November.

 

Map of Metro Vancouver regional parks.

Just Posted

Teacher receives reprimand after 2017 altercation with student

Gregory Norman Brock was issued letter of discipline, suspended three days without pay.

RMMBA holds first training session of season in Maple Ridge

Players wore green in honour of St. Patrick’s Day

UPDATE: Location for more temporary supportive housing in Maple Ridge by end of week

Evacuation shelter now a night refuge only, then shuts for good March 31.

Getting dry in Maple Ridge, be careful

Two brush fires recently already

More condos sought for downtown Maple Ridge project

Seeking 20 per cent increase in number of units

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read