May 19, 2016
VANCOUVER, B.C. — This afternoon, the National Energy Board (NEB) announced their recommendation regarding Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP). The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade welcomes the NEB's conditional approval of the proposed $5.4 billion dollar pipeline expansion between Strathcona County, AB and Burnaby B.C. Now we urge the Federal Government, following its interim review process for pipelines, to respect the science-based regulatory process of the NEB and thus approve the project based on the expert opinion of Canada's independent regulator.
In principal, we support both the technical and environmental rigour of the process and believe the 157 conditions put forth by the NEB offer a comprehensive—yet realistic—standard of pipeline safety. Meeting these standards will protect the environmental, economic and community interests of all British Columbians.
In 2014, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade applied and was granted Intervenor status in the NEB regulatory process. As Intervenors we brought forward our perspective regarding the importance to B.C. and Canada of energy infrastructure development, on the condition that we do so responsibly and to the highest international standards of marine and land safety. We are confident that our comments and concerns have been satisfied in today's decision.
The responsible development of market access for Canadian crude oil is of national importance. The current lack of "midstream" infrastructure has turned Canada into a supplier held captive by our only customer (America), costing the economy $50 million dollars each day. By ensuring Canadian oil has access to tidewater, the TMEP will extend Canada's reach into new markets with customers who pay higher prices, generate thousands of high-paying jobs, and create billions of dollars in government revenue for both the country and British Columbia.
It is worth noting that in considering the effects of increased marine traffic resulting from the TMEP, the NEB has considered matters that, while crucially important, are actually outside the scope of both the Project and the NEB, itself. In our view, this further enhances the thoughtful and comprehensive nature of the review and the overall integrity of the process.
This matter is now to be further reviewed by a three-person review panel with additional input from Canadians. Ultimately, the final approval can only come from the Federal Cabinet, and it is our hope that the legitimate, rigorous NEB regulatory process is properly reflected in their deliberation, to provide certainty for both community and industry stakeholders. A failure to do so has the potential to further damage our natural resources sector, and send negative investment signals to other major projects in need of scarce capital.
We are optimistic about the process moving forward and believe the environmental and economic merits of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project have made a sound argument for its approval.
About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada's leading business association, engaging members to positively impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one third of B.C.'s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events businesses in the country, providing a platform for national and international business and thought leaders to further enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.
Director, Public Policy and Communications
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade