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Vancouver’s “green brand” to be blackened by oil pipelines, says Mayor

Gregor Robertson opposes both the Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan expansion pipelines that are being "aggressively" pushed by the Harper government.

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Vision Vancouver neighbourhood event St. James Community Square - Mychaylo Pryst

Vision Vancouver neighbourhood event St. James Community Square - Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa 

Vision organizers said the purpose of their Monday night neighbourhood event was to gather citizen input on the Kinder Morgan proposal.  Previous such forums have looked at protecting cultural spaces, and affordable housing.

Residents mingled with the mayor, and had the chance at an open mic to offer ways to green the city.

Sam Harrison, a youth leader with Kids for Climate Action, told the mayor that the city should more accurately account for CO2 emissions from proposed coal exports.  He also suggested city council should have a special youth representative, under 18 years of age.

His last recommendation though drew hearty applause. 

The 17-year-old joked that the city should build “a sand bar across the Second Narrows [bridge]” to prevent oil tankers.

Outside the forum, Robertson also told the Vancouver Observer that council has made moves to make it easier for citizens to submit input into the NEB review of the Kinder Morgan project. 

Vancouver is an official intervener in the NEB review of the Kinder Morgan project, and will allow citizens to include their letters in the city's binder of submitted documents.

“The NEB has shut many people out, and prevented important community voices from being heard,” said Robertson. Councilor Andrea Reimer + Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson - Mychaylo Prystupa

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillor Andrea Reimer at Vision Party event at St. James Community Square on Monday - Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa

A recent Harper omnibus law streamlined who could participate in the federal reviews of major energy projects to those “directly affected.”  Nearly a thousand people and organizations that applied to speak out at the upcoming NEB hearings into Kinder Morgan's proposal were denied or downgraded.

Youth forum on Kinder Morgan

The City of Vancouver will also host events (not political party forums) to allow citizens to ask questions of the Kinder Morgan project, and submit concerns.

The first is a forum for people under 30, called “A Conversation about Kinder Morgan” on June 24th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm at the Round House Community Centre.  The event is in partnership with the SFU Centre for Dialogue.

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