B.C. Green Party welcomes B.C. government stand for the public interest

For immediate release
Aug. 12, 2014

VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Green Party welcomes the Province of British Columbia’s response condemning Kinder Morgan’s request to the National Energy Board (NEB) to file their Emergency Management Program (EMP) for the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion confidentially.

Trans Mountain’s motion would prevent the public from reviewing their EMP. Only select intervenors who meet the corporation’s strict conditions would be allowed to review the EMP under restrictive non-disclosure rules. Moreover, only interveners who agree to “participate in consultation with Kinder Morgan Canada Inc.” will be invited to see the plans. The B.C. Green Party finds these conditions utterly unacceptable.

The Province’s 11-page letter to the National Energy Board (NEB) asserts that emergency spill response plans should be available for review by all participants in the application process. They argue that in order for the company to gain the confidence of the public, the EMP needs to be public.

At an earlier stage in the process, the Province asked Trans Mountain to provide their spill response programs for their current operations. The corporation did not respond and failed to submit any details.

The B.C. Green Party applauds the Province in recognizing that the EMP is a fundamental component of the safety of this pipeline expansion project. Trans Mountain’s bureaucratic games are unacceptable.

The Province is taking a strong stand for the public interest and that should be acknowledged. Two of the Premier’s five conditions require Trans Mountain to maintain “world-leading” spill response. “Frankly, it’s surprising Kinder Morgan has decided to ignore the Province on this. What is there to hide?” B.C. Green Party Leader Adam Olsen asks. “Certainly there are confidentiality issues, but as the government argues, there are plenty of ways to protect those aspects of the program. As far as security goes, those can also be addressed. Trans Mountain’s arguments to keep their spill response plans confidential, are specious” Olsen adds.

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Stefan Jonsson
Director of Communications
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