VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The Vancouver Park Board is expected to formally oppose a plan to expand an oil pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby tonight.
This controversial topic has many wondering, “What’s in it for me?”
The company behind the pipeline, Kinder Morgan, says it’s working to complete an economic/environmental study to see what the local benefits are.
In an email to News1130, the company says last year it paid $21-million in municipal property taxes in BC. If an expansion goes ahead, it will expect to pay $37-million.
Kinder Morgan also states there will be a modest increase in its permanent staffing levels as a result.
Jock Finlayson with the BC Business Council claims some politicians are doing a drive-by shooting on the project.
“They obviously have the right to do that, but what I am saying is that there is another very compelling argument. Construction of the pipeline itself would be a huge capital project for BC. There will be some full-time employment created and there will be some additional business and activity through the Port of Vancouver.”
He feels the real benefit is in a “Canadian” context.
“Our largest export category is energy. We are selling almost $100-billion a year and we need to be able to get that into the markets where it is consumed.”
Burnaby-Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart says any potential jobs may not be local.
“The federal government is just relaxing its temporary foreign worker legislation. That means there is no guarantee at all that these jobs will be for British Columbians. There is a lot at risk here.”
He adds the royalties collected would go to Alberta.
“The federal government collects all the corporate tax, Kinder Morgan collects all the tolls. So really there is no local gain at all.”
Kennedy wants royalty sharing to be discussed for BC to even consider this expansion.