Burnaby politicians react to pipeline story

In a city where anything to do with oil pipelines can attract attention pretty quick, a recent news story suggesting the prime minister is getting ready to approve pipeline projects, including Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline, was expected to stand out.

However, the Burnaby MP who would have the most to answer for if true, is down playing the story.

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Burnaby North-Seymour Liberal MP Terry Beech said as far as he’s concerned, there is no change in what his government has said all along, adding the Liberals are redoing the National Energy Process to make sure it’s fair, objective and based on science.     

“To me, we’ve set out a very specific process, we want to make sure Canadians have confidence in that process and we are following that process,” he told the NOW on Wednesday, adding he doesn’t want to speculate where the story came from.

“I think [being] succinct is better in this case, making a story off of a story based off of speculation, I don’t want to fan the flames any further than they need to be.”

On Monday, National Post political columnist John Ivison wrote a story that suggested Prime Minister Trudeau “has been convinced by his finance minister, Bill Morneau, and other influential voices around the cabinet table that the pipelines have to be built to achieve the ambitious economic growth targets his government has set.”

The NEB is set to deliver its final recommendation to Cabinet on the pipeline proposal by May 20. Cabinet has the final say on whether the pipeline will be built.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said he was surprised to read the details of the story, but questioned whether it was true.

He said he’s giving the prime minister the benefit of the doubt, adding he’s not prepared to prejudge him on the basis on a newspaper article.

“I just can’t believe that someone would be so foolish as to come out with statements like that after having promised there would be review that would take into consideration much more than the NEB has taken into consideration,” Corrigan said. “Trudeau, if he does do that, he does so at his own jeopardy.”

The mayor did suggest it was possible Liberal insiders are floating the idea to see what the response will be publicly, but added based on what he’s heard locally, a lot of people will be disappointed.

Burnaby South NDP MP Kennedy Stewart called the story “distressing” and argued the move would go against an election promise by the Liberals to have Kinder Morgan reapply under a new set of rules.

“If he says yes to Kinder Morgan, all hell is going to break loose in B.C.,” he said. “I’ll be fighting this all the way.”

Stewart also said he’ll be stepping up his attempts to convince the prime minister to reject the pipeline project.   

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