Councillors' opposition to Trans Mountain 'disrespectful' to Kinder Morgan, says West Vancouver mayor

West Vancouver Mayor Smith said councillors should've listened to all the facts about the Trans Mountain pipeline, which councillors say pose too high a risk for the city's coastal waters such as Ambleside beach (pictured). Photo source:

West Vancouver Mayor Michael Smith said that the city council was 'disrespectful' to Texas-based pipeline giant Kinder Morgan for passing a resolution opposing the company's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Smith was the sole dissenter to the resolution, which passed in a 6-1 vote. Councillors confirmed that Kinder Morgan had sent a letter to the council requesting a presentation for the Monday meeting, but council declined the offer.

"I'm just as concerned about what happens to the shoreline as they are, but wouldn't we want to at least hear from them?" said Smith, who is also president of M.R.Smith Ltd, a wholesale distributor for Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. "It's obvious from this motion that council doesn't want to hear any facts."

He insisted that his 35 year involvement in the oil industry did not interfere with his vote. 

"I think most people in West Vancouver are like me, they want to hear all the facts," he said.

West Vancouver passed a strongly-worded resolution against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Monday, joining Vancouver and Burnaby in opposition to the proposed project.

Kinder Morgan will begin public consultations for an estimated $4 billion expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands in Edmonton to through Metro Vancouver in September. Their plan is to more than double the capacity of the pipeline by 2017. Its main rival is the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, which aims to export crude oil from Alberta tar sands through the Great Bear Rainforest.

Mayor will send letter to feds and Kinder Morgan about City's opposition

Councillors who voted for the motion cited the risk of degradation to the city's waterfront and the cost to taxpayers in the event of a heavy oil spill.

The motion resolves that the mayor write a letter to Prime Minister Harper, Premier Christy Clark, the Federal and Provincial Ministers of the Environment, the National Energy Board, and the President of Kinder Morgan expressing West Vancouver’s opposition to any increase in oil tanker traffic through the Port of Vancouver. 

There was no timeline on when the letter will be sent, but Smith said that it will be sent as soon as it was prepared by city staff.

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