An Albertan in a Strange Land

Alberta political columnist Dave Cournoyer:

Spending a few days in another province can sometimes give you a different perspective on important national issues. […] While I am sure opinion is divided in B.C., I lost count of how many times I spotted “Stop the Pipelines” spray painted across concrete walls or embankments in Vancouver. And it was not just graffiti, the neighbours in the respectable neighbourhood I called home for the weekend even had anti-pipeline signs planted on their front lawns.

I find many Albertans under-estimate the strength of support for climate action and pipeline opposition in BC, especially in Vancouver and Victoria.

A poll by Insights West this summer showed very different opinions on the Northern Gateway Pipeline between Albertans and British Columbians. And the Mayors of Vancouver and Burnaby are very outspoken about their opposition to Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline and tanker expansion.

Things are heating up near my workplace at Simon Fraser University as Kinder Morgan attempts to start pipeline work on Burnaby Mountain. City of Burnaby bylaw officers, MLAs, and community opponents are working to keep the company from violating city bylaws and proceeding with their work.

Comments from an angry Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan underscore just how tense things are getting:

I think it’s unfortunate that it has come to this, but we can’t let Kinder Morgan cut down trees and do irreparable damage in a conservation area protected by our City’s bylaws.

These bylaws represent the rights and values of our citizens and local residents. It’s astonishing that, as a private corporation, Kinder Morgan thinks they have the right to override our citizens’ wishes and the laws that have been put in place to reflect the value our citizens place on these sensitive, irreplaceable ecosystems.