Kinder Morgan and Burnaby clash in NEB hearing over Trans Mountain project

Kinder Morgan Canada and Burnaby, B.C., clashed in a National Energy Board’s hearing room Monday over the fate of local permitting for the controversial Trans Mountain expansion project.

The company (TSX:KML) argued at the NEB’s Calgary headquarters that local political opposition to the $7.4-billion pipeline project has tainted permitting in the city and the process is now delayed, requiring the NEB to step in and override local bylaws to maintain the federal government’s wishes that the project go ahead.

“When unreasonable delay, which based on the evidence, could continue into perpetuity, (it) must be seen as an outright refusal and unconstitutional,” said Trans Mountain lawyer Maureen Killoran.

The company has been frustrated at the lack of firm timelines, guidance and structure in the local process as it tries to secure permits for actions like tree removal and fence installation ahead of construction of oil storage and loading facilities in the city, she said.

Killoran said strong and vocal opposition by Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan to the project has created an atmosphere of opposition, even if the mayor has not specifically interfered in the process.

“He doesn’t have to. He’s in the newspaper, regularly, this is their leader. He’s in the newspaper, on the radio, he’s everywhere. He’s on the radio saying who’s going to stand with me and stop the bulldozers?”

“It has poisoned the well within the city of Burnaby. We are not going to get an efficient process there,” said Killoran.

Burnaby, however, said there’s been no unreasonable or illegitimate delay, no intention from city officials to do so, and that it is the company that is to blame for the slow pace of permitting.

“It is our position that the time for permit processing here has been primarily driven by the incompetence, or the ineptness perhaps, or at least the inexperience, of the consultants for Trans Mountain in complying with basic municipal approval processes,” said Gregory McDade, Burnaby’s lawyer.

“Trans Mountain has failed to put in a minimally viable application that almost any experienced developer in the city of Burnaby or other major cities would have known to put in.”

McDade said it’s up to Trans Mountain to prove there has been an unreasonable delay or intention to delay, and that it hasn’t done so.

In legal filings, Burnaby also said that Trans Mountain didn’t apply for its Burnaby permits until June, with no explanation as to why they waited so long after receiving federal approval in November, 2016.

Michael Davies, Kinder Morgan Canada’s vice president of operations, said in an affidavit that it could cost the company between $30 million to $35 million in salaries, corporate support and other expenses for each month of delay in the project, while the company stands to lose more than $90 million in revenue for every month the start-up is delayed.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

A Red Deer County man was arrested for drug possession by Innisfail RCMP on April 19. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Property crime and drugs top Red Deer RCMP priorities in new plan

2020-2022 Policing Priorities Plan going to city council on Monday

RCMP estimate about 500 people gathered on the weekend near Garrington Bridge along the Red Deer River, in a July 28, 2020 story. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Second person charged for alleged assault at anti-racism rally in Red Deer

A second person is facing charges following an alleged assault during an… Continue reading

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees vice-president Bonnie Gustola criticized provincial government layoffs at a rally that drew more than 80 people at City Hall Park on Friday.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
More than 80 rally in Red Deer against government health, education cutbacks

Rally at City Hall Park organized by the Council for Canadians

The higher the education level, the higher the income of some 1.3 million post-secondary graduates surveyed between 2010 and 2015, with master's degrees paying off the most. But the findings also suggest that gender and timing matter. (Black Press Media File).
2020 high school grads won’t get their ceremony

Decision announced by Lindsay Thurber and Hunting Hills high schools, and Gateway Christian School

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

New voluntary measures, including the encouragement of more mask wearing, have been introduced in the Edmonton health zone. “Red Deer has been very fortunate to have relatively low case numbers . . . relative to the rest of the province and the country,” says Mayor Tara Veer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
POLL: Should Alberta have stricter rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Should Alberta have stricter rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?… Continue reading

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning in Game 3 of the baseball World Series Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Buehler leads Dodgers over Rays 6-2 for 2-1 Series lead

Buehler leads Dodgers over Rays 6-2 for 2-1 Series lead

Inter Miami defender Ben Sweat, left, and Montreal Impact attacker Maximiliano Urruti fight for the ball during their MLS soccer match, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
Rested Montreal Impact looking to collect points with big finish to regular season

Rested Montreal Impact looking to collect points with big finish to regular season

Mariah Bell of the United States, competes during women's short program in the International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Nathan Chen dominates again in Skate America short program

Nathan Chen dominates again in Skate America short program

Lanto Griffin putts on the ninth hole during the second round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Thomas has a fast start for a 65 and a 1-shot lead at Zozo

Thomas has a fast start for a 65 and a 1-shot lead at Zozo

Mariah Bell of the United States, competes during women's short program in the International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Bell, Tennell go 1-2 in Skate America short program

Bell, Tennell go 1-2 in Skate America short program

Team Saskatchewan skip Matt Dunstone flips his broom in frustration following a shot as they take on Team Alberta in the playoffs at the Brier in Kingston, Ont., on Saturday, March 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Team Matt Dunstone considers relocation due to restrictions in Saskatchewan

Team Matt Dunstone considers relocation due to restrictions in Saskatchewan

Most Read