Premier says it’s going to be a long, hot summer of protests on Burnaby Mountain
B.C. Premier John Horgan is predicting a “crisis” over protests against the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans-Mountain pipeline in Burnaby .
According to Burnaby Now, Horgan told reporters Wednesday at a stop in Coquitlam, that the National Energy Board and the federal governments should be accountable for the escalating tensions around the Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion project, calling the resistance an “extraordinary circumstance,” and a crisis.
“It’s going to be a long, hot summer,” said Mr. Horgan, about the situation at an unrelated news conference.
Trans-Mountain pipeline operations have been targeted by protesters concerned about the prospect of a tripling of the amount of diluted bitumen from Alberta to Burnaby’s port for shipment overseas.
News1130.com reports, with Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan promising not to pay policing costs associated with the protests, Horgan was asked about whether that’s acceptable.
“The National Energy Board and the federal government have to have some accountability. I believe that British Columbia, on behalf of the province, is doing its due diligence through two court applications.”
Burnaby is policed by the RCMP, which operates in agreement with the municipality.
“With respect to the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, this is not a threat by me, this is self evident by the number of people that are collecting on Burnaby Mountain everyday to express their disappointment with the federal government’s decision to proceed.”
Horgan says the federal government is to blame as well as the NEB.
According to The Globe and Mail, in a statement, a spokesperson for the Trans Mountain project said the initiative is under federal jurisdiction and has approvals from the NEB and federal government. But Ali Hounsell also noted that the courts have ruled in Trans Mountain’s favour in 14 of 14 cases related to the project.
“We support peaceful, lawful demonstrations of views, and trust that the Premier of British Columbia does as well. There are many ways to express opinions in a safe and lawful manner,” Ms. Hounsell said.
A court injunction bars activists from getting within five metres of Trans Mountain’s two terminal sites on Burnaby Mountain.
RCMP have made more than 170 arrests since March 17.
Burnaby plans to go to the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal a lower-court ruling last week in which the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed a bid by Burnaby and the B.C. government to challenge a NEB decision that allows Kinder Morgan to bypass local laws during pipeline construction.
There are various other legal decisions pending on the pipeline, including a review by the Federal Court of Appeal of the decision by Trudeau’s cabinet to approve the pipeline and a review by the B.C. Court of Appeal of the decision by the former provincial government to approve the pipeline.
Mr. Horgan has also already said his government will seek a legal ruling on whether his province can restrict increased amounts of oil from coming into B.C. while his government reviews oil-spill safety measures.