Canadian City Fights Pipeline Expansion

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – The Vancouver suburb of Burnaby claims in court that an oil pipeline company illegally cut down trees and damaged parkland in a conservation area doing exploratory work for a controversial pipeline expansion.
     The City of Burnaby, where the longstanding left-leaning leadership under Mayor Derek Corrigan has been fiercely anti-pipeline expansion, claims in B.C. Supreme Court that Trans Mountain Pipeline entered city-owned parkland known as the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area on Sept. 2 and began clearing bush and cutting down trees.
     The company, owned by nonparty Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, allegedly violated city bylaws and ignored an order to cease the work, claiming it was authorized by the defendant National Energy Board, a federal regulatory agency.
     The city claims the National Energy Board lacks constitutional authority to allow the work, and that Trans Mountain told the police and the city that it does not “recognize the validity of the Parks Bylaw,” and will continue to damage the land, with the National Energy Board’s authorization.
     Private security guards allegedly obstructed city staff from park trails, causing city workers to call in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
     Work carried out by the company includes drilling boring holes, cutting down vegetation, as well as setting up a helicopter staging area, all of which violated city bylaws, according to the complaint.
     The work is related to the company’s plan to nearly triple the capacity of a pipeline, but environmental and first nation groups have opposed the plan.
     The city seeks an interim and permanent injunction to prevent Trans Mountain from further contravening city bylaws and a declaration “that the National Energy Board does not have the constitutional jurisdiction to issue and order to the City of Burnaby that limits the City or directs it in the enforcement of its Bylaws.”
     The city is represented by Gregory J. McDade with Ratcliff & Company, of North Vancouver.

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