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PIPELINE – City council sinks motion to change Westsyde route in 7-1 vote

Trans Mountain’s Kate Stebbings speaks to council today.

An attempt to shut down the Trans Mountain pipeline through Westsyde and move it to the Lac du Bois grasslands was shot down in flames today (Jan. 14, 2020).

A notice of motion from Coun. Denis Walsh to ask the Canada Energy Regulator to order TMX to make a change in its route for the twinning expansion came up for debate but got short shrift from his fellow councillors.

Discussion came after Trans Mountain spokesperson Kate Stebbings defended the existing route during the public inquiries section of the agenda, saying living near pipelines doesn’t impose health risks.

Walsh contradicted that when his motion came up, acknowledging that the TM pipeline has a good safety record “overall” but “pipelines do have problems, whether it’s from welds or somebody with a backhoe hitting it or whatever, there is a potential risk.”

Most councillors didn’t speak to the motion but Coun. Sady Hunter said she hasn’t received any complaints about the pipeline while Coun. Arjun Singh said he couldn’t “find any evidence” that the pipeline is unsafe. “I don’t think we’re experts in pipeline safety.”

Coul. Kathy Sinclair agreed there’s “no immediate threat” but tried an amendment to soften Walsh’s motion by wording a letter to the CER requesting the pipeline be moved. That was defeated.

The main motion was also defeated, by a vote of 7-1. Coun. Dieter Dudy was absent.

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ArmchairMayor.ca 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 ArmchairMayor.ca 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 PIPELINE – City council sinks motion to change Westsyde route in 7-1 vote

  1. 7 didn’t want to put their heads above the trench.
    Voters’ regret on this one.

  2. Don Drysdale // January 15, 2020 at 9:38 AM // Reply

    All the motion was for was to ask the regulator but you close minded on council could not get your heads around that even though you expressed no logic in not supporting Mr Walsh’s motion. The time was now to ask for the move not in the future when there is a problem. The construction time is now and therefore the motion should be done now. Council sure wasted no time voicing there non-support for Ajax and following it up with action even though they had no jurisdiction. I support the TMX and I also support the idea of moving it in an efficient manner. There as someone who lives 50 metres from the TMX you now know my stand on the issue yet you on council could not even see the rational for just asking.

  3. Ian M MacKenzie // January 15, 2020 at 8:39 AM // Reply

    You mean not one of our councillors spoke for the motion except Councillor Walsh, who seems to have done a lot of research in preparing the notice of motion? Not one of them asked Ms Stebbings of Trans-Mountain (TMP) to back up her statement that living near a 66 year old pipeline does not present a health risk? I’m sure those folks in North Burnaby whose houses were soaked by a pipeline rupture a few years ago would have rebutted that assertion! As for Councillors Singh and Hunter’s weak reasons for rejection of the motion they smack to me of lack of research or thought on their parts. Surely the role of all Concillors is to expedite a thorough discussion on all issues involving the possible health, welfare,or environment of Kamloops citizens, whether they are experts on the issue or whether they have been approached by others or not. Silence is not what we should expect of them.

  4. The job of a good manager/leader is to think ahead and prepare. Some of the comments cited in the news release do not give confidence in our present local government in my opinion. I share the frustration councillor Walsh must feel.

  5. Come on Arjun how hard did you really look? Councillors didn’t do their homework. Nobody complained therefore there isn’t a problem. Now that’s leadership.

    Alberta’s had an average of two crude oil spills a day, every day for the past 37 years.

    That makes 28,666 crude oil spills in total, plus another 31,453 spills of just about any other substance you can think of putting in a pipeline – from salt water to liquid petroleum.

    it doesn’t include any spills from some of the biggest pipelines – those crossing provincial or national borders. These fall under National Energy Board jurisdiction. For the 53 per cent of spills from somewhere other than a pipeline, such as oil wells and pumping stations, anything under 2 cubic metres (2,000 litres, or about twelve and a half barrels) doesn’t get counted.

    • We will have a special showing of the “Minions” at the Paramount theatre. Apparently it is ongoing in the council’s chamber.

  6. L Dawne Taylor // January 14, 2020 at 9:51 PM // Reply

    How disappointing! Surely enough foresight would indicate there will likely be problems down the road.

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