ACCORDING TO A GOVERNMENT media release, the government of B.C. has … filed its registration as an intervener to ensure that British Columbians’ interests are represented in the National Energy Board’s (NEB) reconsideration of aspects of its recommendation report on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project.
The release goes on to say that according to George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, “B.C. is concerned that the 22-week time-frame is insufficient to accommodate a thorough review, appropriate cross-examination and the time needed by Indigenous groups to fully participate,” said Heyman.
Get ready for it … be warned in advance … because you may explode upon hearing why the government feels the 22-week time-frame is not enough. It’s because the Horgan government feels the need to … advocate for a process that will meaningfully engage communities and Indigenous groups, provide opportunities for all citizens to be heard and demand thorough answers from the federal government as the new owner of the project.
With that in mind then, let’s take a look at how far back this whole process goes.
The first date of note is Feb. 21, 2012 — that’s when Kinder Morgan, after receiving support from oil shippers, said it wanted to expand the Trans Mountain Pipeline and would begin consultations with the public. The second date is Dec. 16, 2013, and that’s when Kinder Morgan made application to the National Energy Board (NEB) for approval of the proposed expansion.
So far, we have a process that began its journey six and a half years ago … and which will now have another 22 weeks added to it. THAT’S OVER 100 months, and still NO APPROVAL of the project. In that amount of time, a child could have been born … gone to pre-school … entered Kindergarten, and now be 1/3 of the way through Grade 3!
Is another 22 weeks really not enough time to finish a lengthy process far beyond the scope of anything like it in the past?
Is another 22 weeks really not enough time to provide for citizens to be heard and engaged with, who have not already been heard, and engaged with, multiple times with exactly pretty much the same comments of protest?
Is another 22 weeks really not enough time to ensure that B.C.’s interests are represented.
And speaking of B.C.’s interests, exactly whose interest will John Horgan’s NDP government be representing? Will it be the majority in favour (55 per cent) according to an IPSOS poll … or will it be the minority opposed (37 per cent), and who will remain opposed no matter what?
That same poll from May of this year certainly DID NOT give a glowing report as to what British Columbians think of how Horgan is doing with the Kinder Morgan / Trans Mountain Pipeline file.
“More British Columbians Give Premier Horgan Poor Marks (48%) than Good Marks (39 per cent) in his Handling of Pipeline Issue as Six in Ten (60 per cent) Canadians and British Columbians say Pipeline in the National Interest.”
IF there is ANYTHING that the B.C. government should be registering to intervene on behalf of, it should be the majority of people sick and tired of the endless delays to this project, and any further money wasted in attempts to kill it.
It should also be intervening on behalf of hard-working British Columbians who have already waited for over six and a half years to get this project.
Twenty-two weeks is more than adequate, Mr. Horgan … 22 weeks is more than enough time Mr. Heyman … and 22 weeks is also more than enough time Mr. Weaver!
Here’s a message to all three of you; if you really want to intervene on behalf of British Columbians, you know what to do.
If, however, you continue to complain 22 weeks is not enough time, well then British Columbians will know to intervene on providing you with further opportunities to continue as government after the next election, and to continue getting in the way of blue-collar British Columbians to have those high-paying union jobs they’ve already waited six and a half years to begin.
In Kamloops, I’m Alan Forseth, and I hope you’ll join the discussion on this, or any other topic presented here. Do you agree … disagree? Post your thoughts in the Comment Section.
Alan Forseth is a Kamloops resident and former member of the Reform Party of Canada and the B.C. Reform Party, and a past and current member of the BC Conservative Party. His blog is My Thoughts on Politics and More.