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Fake consultation process isn’t fooling anyone: B.C. doesn’t want new Kinder Morgan pipeline

Friday, November 9, 2012

Kinder Morgan’s so-called “public information sessions” Fake consultation process isn't fooling anyone: B.C. doesn't want new Kinder Morgan pipeline are little more than a dog and pony show.

Billed as an open forum for dialogue regarding the Houston-based company’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline project, sessions like the one last Saturday in North Vancouver fail to even present residents with detailed community-level maps of the pipeline route. How can you provide any meaningful information about a pipeline project without key information that relates to local neighbourhoods?

Worse yet, Kinder Morgan will likely use these sessions to try and say they have adequately consulted with communities about the project. At best, these sessions are focus groups that we are participating in for free.

Rather than supplying valuable information to the public, it seems the company is using this process to extract information from us. They are acting as if they are in the midst of a federal or provincial environmental assessment process but they are not — they haven’t even filed any detailed plans with the National Energy Board. People need to know that there will in fact be a full on consultation process once the company files with the NEB at the end of next year. If the provincial NDP ends up in office, there will also be a “made in B.C.” process.

So what can Kinder Morgan definitively say about their plans at this point? Not much. That’s why I call it a “focus group.” It seems to me these meetings are a way of using concerned citizens to help the company figure out how best to sell the project to the public when they do in fact apply.

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