Steelworkers urge province to allow TransMountain pipeline



Stephen Hunt
Stephen Hunt

The United Steelworkers union is urging the provincial government to allow the Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline to proceed.

In a strongly worded letter to Environment Minister George Heyman, USW District 3 director Stephen Hunt called the provincial government’s move to block the pipeline “reckless, inappropriate,” and that it sends a “dangerous message and would set an even more dangerous precedent.”

The provincial government is proposing a second phase of regulations dealing with response and recovery from potential spills.

The first phase of the regulations, approved in October 2017, established a standard of preparedness, response and recovery to protect B.C.’s environment. With some exceptions for B.C. oil and gas regulated entities, the Phase-1 regulations apply to pipelines transporting any quantity of liquid petroleum products, and rail or trucking operations transporting over 10,000 litres of liquid petroleum products.

For the second phase, the province will be looking for feedback restrictions on the increase of diluted bitumen (“dilbit”) transportation until the behaviour of spilled bitumen can be better understood and there is certainty regarding the ability to adequately mitigate spills.

“This project has undergone a tremendous and a lengthy review process during which thousands of Canadians were able to voice their opinions,” Hunt said in the letter. “This process has resulted in a green light from the Government of Canada to proceed. I respect that your government has a different opinion, but the appropriate level of government has made a decision after an exhaustive process. It is not within your government’s jurisdiction to undo this decision by attempting to assume powers that do not exist within the Canadian constitution.”