A survey was conducted by members of Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE) for candidates running in the City of Burnaby, British Columbia municipal election which is taking place on November 15, 2014. The unedited answers received from all candidates that responded to the survey are listed below. The responses can also be found on the BROKE website.
Preamble: The City of Burnaby faces some challenges over the next 4 years in terms of a proposal to significantly increase oil exports via the Westridge Marine Terminal. Please answer questions to a maximum of 250 words per question. Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE) will reproduce unedited responses to its website. Thank you.
Question: 1) Trans Mountain ULC is proposing to increase bitumen shipments by pipeline through Burnaby for export purposes only. If elected mayor, would you take a position relative to this proposal? Please explain your position on this project.
Response from Derek Corrigan, Burnaby Citizens' Association: As Mayor I have taken a strong and public stand against this proposal. My Burnaby Citizens’ Association candidates and I are not prepared to accept the Kinder Morgan expansion.
I oppose this project, regardless of where Kinder Morgan proposes to put the pipeline. I will continue to work with our citizens to stop this pipeline, its storage tanks and its supertanker transport docks from coming to Burnaby. I am opposed to this proposal because of the damage it would do to our city –during and after construction – and because of the long-term safety risks it poses to residents and the environment.
Burnaby has long-term plans – developed with our citizens – for town centre, transportation, residential and recreational developments. All would be severely negatively impacted by the pipeline, tank farm and docks.
Given the planned and potential economic development opportunities that would be eliminated, the taxes Kinder Morgan would pay would not compensate for the permanent damage the project would cause – even without the devastating economic, social and environmental impacts of an oil spill or tank farm fire.
Kinder Morgan has changed their stated route preference several times. I believe that Kinder Morgan’s repeated preferred route changes are designed to divide our community and to enable them to say they are responding to public input. I expect their route preferences to continue to change.
If the National Energy Board allows the expansion over the City’s objections my BCA colleagues and I will ensure Burnaby's interests and the interests of its citizens.
Response from Mayoral Candidate Sylvia Gung: While I am not particularly against any developmen, I see the fact that we are not at all prepared for any new development: Prices of goods and services keep climbing and while cities are scrambling to listen to those
demanding the “living wages”, the poor is left out; political, social, and educational corruption seems to be even deepening; and thus educating young people sees no space for a balanced, wholesome curriculum. In this situation, further development sounds more like further destruction from the baseless activities called “development” and expansion projects of all kinds. When it comes to Burnaby, the corruption becomes even more serious, from almost six decades of running the city by one and the same majority party, namely Burnaby Citizens Association, which is discriminatory from the foundation that is NDP only. Even before this BCA – NDP only – provision, run the city was by Social Credit party, which can be regarded as precursor or cousin of NDP, so together, a century old management by one type of ideology, the city of Burnaby has been deteriorating, with accumulating problems, including mental illnesses that has been counted second to surrey, which is a young city that just been started growing. As the citizens in a supposedly well settled city, we have grave responsibility to work on preparedness and prevention tasks through public education, while fighting back against Kinder Morgan company or the like.
Response from Mayoral Candidate Raj Gupta: I am in favour of Gas Pipe Line as it is beneficial to City as it will create Jobs & Generate Revenue on top of general economy for the community.
Question: 2) Do you agree with doubling the storage tanks (5.4 million barrels) on Burnaby Mountain to store the 890 000 barrels of diluted bitumen that would flow into them daily?
Response from Derek Corrigan, Burnaby Citizens' Association: I disagree with doubling the storage tanks on Burnaby Mountain. The City of Burnaby asked 1,700 questions through the regulatory review process to attempt to clarify what Kinder Morgan is proposing to do, where they are proposing to do it and the nature of the risks. The company chose not to answer 62% of our questions and gave partial answers to 14%. Kinder Morgan said most of the City of Burnaby’s questions were not relevant.
In fact, the questions we asked are fundamental to attempting to ensure the safety of our citizens and our community. For example, we asked for Kinder Morgan’s Emergency Response Plan for the Burnaby Terminal. In response, Kinder Morgan told us that the plan is confidential and that they won’t provide the plan unless stipulated conditions are met, including Burnaby being willing to respond to any kind of event associated with the Trans Mountain Pipeline system within our jurisdiction – and signing a confidentiality agreement! In other words, we have to accept the project in our community before Kinder Morgan will share with us critical information that would allow us to assess its safety. That’s absurd – and Kinder Morgan has since been ordered by the National Energy Board to provide the plan. Hundreds of other questions critical to Burnaby citizens, however, remain unanswered by Kinder Morgan.
Response from Mayoral Candidate Sylvia Gung: I don’t agree. Why can’t it be refined and move it, export it, and use it ourselves? This situation also tells me that we are not ready, to deal with it. We better keep it where it belongs, and let next generations decide for the use of it, while keep working on the problems with the climate change and cleaning pollution from our environment and our mind.
Question 3) Do you believe that shipping 400 tanker loads per year, or one or more per day, of diluted bitumen through the Burrard Inlet and Salish Seas will be accident free? Explain why.
Response from Derek Corrigan, Burnaby Citizens' Association: The tankers will carry unrefined oil products, not the refined (and less toxic) products carried in the existing line. If approved the project will result in seven times the number of tankers carrying the oil (up to 580,000 barrels in each tanker) through Burrard inlet. It is entirely reasonable to conclude that such a massive increase in the number of tankers in Burrard Inlet an Salish Seas will result in accidents.
Response from Mayoral Candidate Sylvia Gung: Even if I might naively believe that whatever they say is all true and they will not ever change their mind, after all are done and expanded, yet, I haven’t heard of the possible accidents that can occur by human errors.
Especially when it is estimated that one out of five Canadians is affected by mental illness, and when well settled Burnaby has grown mental ill next to Surrey, when addictive drugs are readily available, and when I am certain that the mental health problems keep accumulating inflicted by all other problems including affordable housing, homelessness, high prices of everything, along with increasing taxes, and cultural problems, school problems, family problems and personal problems, and so on, the city isn’t doing anything about, there is no reason for me to believe such accident-free transportation of the bitumen is possible.
Question: 4) Are you concerned about the current Trans Mountain pipeline as it is now 60 years old and may face additional stress due to the transport of diluted bitumen? If so, what concerns do you have?
Response from Derek Corrigan, Burnaby Citizens' Association: Aging infrastructure is always of concern.
Since Kinder Morgan purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline in 2005 they have had a number of large spills, one of the most significant of which was in 2007 in Burnaby and resulted in the Westridge Neighbourhood being drenched in 1,572 barrels of crude oil, some of which flowed all the way to Burrard Inlet. Emergency evacuation of 250 Burnaby residents was required and 50 residential properties were affected. The spill entered the Burrard Inlet through a storm sewer and affected 1,200 metres of shoreline, impacting Morgan and two contracting companies.
Kinder Morgan’s safety record shows that they are a company which cannot be trusted.
Response from Mayoral Candidate Sylvia Gung: While having no technical knowledge about the pipelines, my questions about the structure are: Expected life span and earth quake preparedness? Building of replacement pipe line is needed any way, while I can’t believe current one should be gone, too? Have Kinder Morgan go back and persuade the Congressmen to work with the PM for possibilities to unite two countries so that when this land is diagnosed as not livable because the pipeline rupture and so on, then I can at least walk down, without interruption, for the better place to live, while others fly out or ship out or drive down?
Question 05) Do you support ways to reduce carbon emissions in the City of Burnaby? How would you create programs or services to encourage residents to reduce carbon emissions?
Response from Derek Corrigan, Burnaby Citizens' Association: Yes, I strongly support ways to reduce carbon emissions in the City.
The BCA Council and I have implemented development policies which support the goals of Metro Vancouver’s Liveable Regions Strategy. By increasing density around Skytrain stations we have created communities where transit is a realistic and viable alternative to cars.
The City’s Burnaby Citizen’s Association council has developed a comprehensive transportation strategy and will continue to work with citizens to further develop that strategy to ensure that transportation in the city is efficient and safe. We will also work to further enhance connections between town centres and to develop even more walking and biking trails.
Building on the City’s local- and national award-winning environmental leadership, Burnaby will finalize the Environmental Sustainability Strategy (ESS) this fall. As with the development of the Economic and Social sustainability strategies, the ESS is a key part of Burnaby’s comprehensive focus on sustainability in all areas of City operations. BCA leadership has
ensured the ongoing protection of thousands of acres of land to complement high-density town-centre development. The City has also done a full energy retrofit to reduce our level of energy consumption in our buildings, street lights and other facilities.
Response from Mayoral Candidate Sylvia Gung: I do support to find the ways through community discussions (aiming for collective solution and encourage personal devotion) and, again, education (aiming for individual perception about wellness in living together). While we have two opposite views about climate change, I take it as moral question that are how we are relating ourselves with surroundings and how we use everything in our surroundings that contain our own beings; thus, the question includes existence of each one of us – how am I using things of mine properly, my body, time, relationship, materials, programs, systems, facilities, and so on. For all these, we have to revisit the schools and amend or reorganize what they are doing:
Add two more classes everyday, to start and end with, doing
♦ martial arts sort – to be managed by the students, under the supervision of interested teachers
♦ Political Science – so that every graduate understands about social behavior and the duty to vote
♦ street manners – through the school system, a person has two licenses—pedestrian and bicycles
♦ manage one or two businesses (community newspaper delivery, for one) helped by PAC’s, a chance to contribute to their own future environment, such as public transit and post secondary education offered for free, and so on.
Is this possible? And can society be as a whole, re-educated, and everyone becomes strong, healthy, and capable, no matter what comes in our way? I think it is possible and fun to get involved, too.