COLUMN: Time for proponent to act in a kinder way

It seems to me that Kinder Morgan should consider hiring a new public relations firm ...

COLUMN: Time for proponent to act in a kinder way

On the Other Hand by Mark Rushton

It seems to me that Kinder Morgan should consider hiring a new public relations firm, because right now its image in relation to the twinning and expansion of its pipeline through B.C. is less than stellar.

Cutting trees in a Burnaby park was not the way to engender support or convert opponents, nor is its refusal to answer many questions posed during the current National Energy Board hearings.

The proposed pipeline expansion, routed mostly on KM’s existing right-of-way, will go through countless neighbourhoods on the Lower Mainland. People want to be assured their backyards will look tomorrow the way they do today. They want to know that the possibility of leaks and spills is miniscule.

Of course, there are also the protestors and opponents who believe shipping more oil is criminal, and that the world should be concentrating on the development of alternative energy sources.

Geothermal would be nice. Wind and water currents also have great potential. The problem at the moment is that our society and our economy, currently and for the foreseeable future, is based on the use of oil-based products.

Oil and its derivatives power our vehicles, keep aviation aloft, create the fertilizers that grow our food, provide materials for clothing and the essential ingredient in most of the products we all use on a daily basis.

The world, or a least the people who populate it, keeps expanding and with that comes the demand for more oil. If the Chevron refinery in Burnaby, or the big one at Cherry Point stopped producing, the Lower Mainland would quickly grind to a halt.

Kinder Morgan’s plan however, is not to increase flow to either of these facilities, but to export the Alberta bitumen via tanker to distant refineries.

And those export plans are what seem to be driving the belief of Kinder Morgan that what it wants to do is in the best interest of Canada, and therefore will be approved regardless of what it does, or doesn’t do, to quell people’s concerns.

In other words, the federal government wants to sell Canada’s oil and Kinder Morgan is going to make it happen regardless of the objections, real or imagined.

Not the way to get a project accomplished because, like most everything else that occurs, it should be done in a good-neighbourly way.

And that is why KM needs to look inwardly, change its tactics and listen and respond to the concerns people are voicing. That is respectful, and needs to be shown to those who want their voices heard.

The reality, and I am certain the eventuality, is that the dil-bit will flow. Unlike the Enbridge proposal in Northern B.C., Kinder Morgan’s new line will be on a right-of-way that already exists, through pumping and delivery systems that are already in place. For the most part, when the project is completed few will remember it’s even there, except of course those who are monitoring the increased tanker traffic through Vancouver’s harbour.

Thus, if Kinder Morgan is so sure that its project will be approved by the National Energy Board and the federal government, why not be nice about it? Why not make every effort to ameliorate concerns?

Taking a highhanded approach only alienates people, results in lengthy and costly delays and, I believe in this case, merely prolongs the inevitable.

Time for the company to adopt a policy of being both ‘nice’ and forthright. We, supporters and objectors alike, deserve that.


Just Posted

Xauni de Figeuiroa of Abbotsford has been selected to attend a virtual space camp hosted by the Canadian Space Agency at the end of July.
Abbotsford student selected to attend virtual space camp

Xauni de Figeuiroa among 52 youth selected from across Canada

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

A program of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation enables patients to thank their health-care workers.
Fraser Valley program enables patients to say thanks to their health-care workers

Philip Harris Grateful Patient Program offered through health care foundation

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read