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

Could whistle have saved Maple Ridge train victim?

Maple Ridge silenced trains, woman hit and killed Wednesday

Free shoes popular at pop-up shop in Maple Ridge

One day event by Shoe Bank Canada to help those in need

Letter: ‘12 structure fires in Pitt Meadows this year so far’

Department has had 49 fire-related incidents total.

There is a mail-in vote to change our electoral system?

Only 2.5 per cent in Maple Ridge have bothered

New schedule, new code for Maple Ridge council

Daytime meetings back at city hall

UPDATE: Young woman killed by train in Maple Ridge

Emergency responders on tracks along River Road

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read