Pipeline plan ruffles FVRD meeting

Fraser Valley Regional District's quick approval of a corridor study by Kinder Morgan has alarmed local activist group Pipe Up Network.

The Fraser Valley Regional District’s quick approval of a corridor study by Kinder Morgan in Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park has alarmed local activist group Pipe Up Network.

Member Lynn Perrin applied to sit as a delegate on the FVRD board in order to motion a reconsideration of the decision to green-light the survey.

The FVRD rejected her application, because the regional district has already given permission to Kinder Morgan to proceed with the corridor study.

When Perrin attempted to have the rejection reconsidered at the FVRD board meeting on Tuesday, board chair Sharon Gaetz quickly interjected and invited Perrin to make an appointment to talk to staff about it privately. Perrin tried to comment on the rejection, but was frequently interrupted by the chair and a board member, and finally asked to leave the stand.

Gaetz maintains that Perrin’s question did not pertain to the evening’s agenda, and therefore could not be discussed.

“It was not on the agenda last night,” said Gaetz. “When someone tries to hijack the agenda, it’s very difficult.”

Michael Hale, another member of Pipe Up Network, also could not get a full sentence in during the meeting’s public participation portion.

Hale is concerned that Kinder Morgan’s pipeline plans are pushing ahead without a chance for public consultation. He argues that the FVRD board should place conditions on Kinder Morgan’s survey, such as requesting that raw data be shared.

The authority to approve or reject the Kinder Morgan corridor study lies completely with the National Energy Board. The company requested FVRD’s approval to enter Cheam Lake Wetlands as a courtesy only, said Gaetz.

FVRD is “absolutely planning” to have a proper discussion on Kinder Morgan’s proposal to twin the existing pipeline.

“Of course we want to have that discussion,” she said. “It just wasn’t on the agenda last night.”

Gaetz could not specify a date for the discussion. She also believes that the company will consult with the public after the study is completed.

“I’m sure we will be having it soon. I know they (Kinder Morgan) have to do their study. They can’t present something that they haven’t got a plan for, right?”

The Trans Mountain pipeline project has become an election issue. NDP Leader Adrian Dix announced Monday that his party opposes the project.

“We have no intention of seeing Metro Vancouver become a major oil tanker centre,” Dix told media.