Burnaby challenges pipeline construction in its conservation area

City of Burnaby Directs Kinder Morgan to Stop Work that is Damaging Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area
September 2, 2014

Press release

The City of Burnaby has directed Kinder Morgan to stop work in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area. This morning, Kinder Morgan arrived with chainsaws and other tree-cutting equipment and began marking trees for removal in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, to conduct survey work for the pipeline the Houston-based company is proposing to construct between the Alberta tar sands and Burnaby.

“I think it’s unfortunate that it has come to this,” says Mayor Derek Corrigan, “but we can’t let Kinder Morgan cut down trees and do irreparable damage in a conservation area protected by our City’s bylaws.

“These bylaws represent the rights and values of our citizens and local residents. It’s astonishing that, as a private corporation, Kinder Morgan thinks they have the right to override our citizens’ wishes and the laws that have been put in place to reflect the value our citizens place on these sensitive, irreplaceable ecosystems.

“As we’ve said before, there is nothing in Section 73 of the National Energy Board Act – which Kinder Morgan is aggressively asserting gives them the right to do this damage – that does, in fact, allow them do it.

“We were prepared to allow them to access this conservation land for non-invasive work that could be repaired over time, but absolutely not to do what they arrived this morning to do – to cut down trees to create helicopter landing pads and sites for drilling bore holes on this protected land. That’s not enabled by Section 73 and it’s absolutely not permitted by our bylaws!”

Says City of Burnaby legal counsel, Greg McDade, “Kinder Morgan has not only damaged the Conservation Area in contravention of the law, they have also attempted to interfere with traffic on public roads and to obstruct park staff in their duties. The actions of the company are unprecedented, and they appear to believe they can act as if the rule of law doesn’t apply to them. Burnaby will seek a court ruling that protects its laws and its parkland.”

The City of Burnaby will continue to enforce its bylaws to ensuring ongoing protection of the Burnaby Mountain conservation lands.