ROTHENBURGER – Crapstorm blowing in City Hall over Westsyde pipeline issue

Trans Mountain pipeline marker in Westsyde. (Image: Mel Rothenburger)

HERE’S A straight-forward question.

Supposing, five or 10 years from now, the oil pipeline that runs through Westsyde splits a seam or whatever it is pipeiines do when they break, and there’s a major spill that damages or destroys homes and might even put lives at risk.

If you were a City councillor at the time, would you rather be able to say:

(a) We asked the Canada Energy Regulator (formerly National Energy Board) to order Trans Mountain to decommission the pipeline but the CER didn’t do it.

(b) We thought about asking the CER to order Trans Mountain to decommission the pipeline but we decided it was none of our business.

That’s the way Coun. Denis Walsh sees his notice of motion that will be debated at Tuesday’s City council meeting.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011 and was a 2019 Commentator of the Year finalist in the Webster Awards. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (8054 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

7 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – Crapstorm blowing in City Hall over Westsyde pipeline issue

  1. During the Ajax Mine struggle it was discovered the City had no say what’s so ever in whether-or-not the mine was approved. This is very reminiscent of Tina Lang’s attempt to have the Council of the day agree to champion having the Provincial Legislation changed to give the City some say it what happens within our bounders. Sadly, that Council wasn’t anymore supportive then the current one seems to be. Makes you wonder whose interest the Council is there to protect?

  2. Mel: Don’t you think you should have talked to some of the other councillors before blindly accepting Walsh’s contention that his motion is opposed and rushing that assertion into print? Journalism 101, something about facts and verification, if I recall correctly.

    • Mel Rothenburger // January 11, 2020 at 5:21 PM // Reply

      It will be a fine thing indeed if debate on the motion focuses on its merits rather than concerns about offending Trans Mountain or on remarks such as “I haven’t heard any concerns from residents.”

  3. An administration that can herd councilors, should move on to herding cats down the main street on summer weekends. Now that would draw more tourist than any glamorous new concert hall.

  4. Appearance are dismaying, when one learns the reality behind the harmonious posture. The real downside with a council and administration so obsessed with pr and image, is a council that seems to get along famously but lacks the grit to take a stand on most everything. Let the odd ruffled feathers fly, and we should be thankful that someone like Denis speaks out. He’s not afraid to take a contrary view, and that hugely benefits us all. Good too that it’s public – as most civic matters should be. Thank you for your constant effort to bring out truths behind the

    • I spent a short while doing a search for documentation that might be available on line in the form of zoning approvals and council meetings back in the day when development was approved along the path of the existing TMPL pipeline. I couldn’t come up with anything but that information has got to be around somewhere.

      Were any concerns raised at the time about residential construction being done so close to a pipeline carrying petroleum products?
      Who were the ones on City staff who recommended the developments be approved?
      Who were the developers?
      Who was on the voting team (Mayor and Council) who approved the development(s)?

      Did Denis do some deeper homework to find out this kind of stuff and possible future liability concerns?

      Watch for some fur flying from behind closed doors on this one.

  5. Amazing isn’t it? Just the other day a rookie councillor took pen to paper on KTW to highlight how she “is listening and learning” but to what end?
    Moreover, one year into the mandate and the election pledges have been long abandoned in favour of that “comforting conformism” crucial to re-election. It is frustrating to see it happening but even more frustrating just you and I and only a handful of others seem concerned. And I thank Mr. Walsh for doing his job.

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