I am writing in support of activists in a story originating from Burnaby Mountain in Burnaby (a suburb of the Greater Vancouver Regional District).
I was unable to attend the hearings in Vancouver. Though I would have appeared in support of the activists.
Please understand I am making personal comments against KM exploratory work on and in Burnaby Conservation Forest.
writes for The Observer in his story
“Officially, she [Lynn Quaramb] and other defendants — a second SFU instructor, a retiree, an admin worker and a young activist — are forbidden by a B.C. Supreme Court judge from interfering with the company’s pipeline survey work. The order takes effect Monday 4 p.m. After that, RCMP are expected to arrest and charge those disobeying the court’s wishes.”
My following commentary is my own and are not a reflection of the former group UNES.
The neighbourhood of Burnaby and location for the possible civil disobedience after Monday, November 17, 2014, has been site and witness to a disaster of the Kinder Morgan pipeline ( I think, 2008) when construction workers working on some unrelated function miscalculated unclear, and outdated maps and punctured the Kinder Morgan pipeline. I drive by (in my hybrid) the beginning of the Barnet Highway towards Port Moody,
where I see to this day the black oil stains on the concrete retaining walls to private properties along the highway.
The final portions of The KM pipeline is located under and in the environs of Burnaby Mountain, and going down to the shipyards and our shores near Indian Arm. Homes were evacuated while a rain of oil came down on a housing neighbourhood. And guess what, Kinder Morgan employees shut off the valve at the shipyard as a response. This made the situation worse.
I am not against industry. This is a tempered view that I model after Burnaby’s Mayor Corrigan (2002 – current) who chooses to accept the industry history of Burnaby, but is cautious against this latest venture by Kinder Morgan for pipeline expansion. I, V Sorensen am cautious against bitumen being shipped through our neighbourhood and to our waterfront. I’m against an oil company going into conservation forest on Burnaby Mountain and performing exploratory functions. As I understand the approval for pipeline updates are pending by the Energy Board (2014). Why should the public and our conservation lands – supporting diverse species and an intact ecosystem – bare the brunt of a private company’s ventures?
KM proposes to twin and expand their oil line currently running from Alberta to the Lower Mainland, and through to the shores of Burnaby, at Barnet Marine Park. The pipeline changes go together with plans to increase oil tanker traffic into Vancouver’s (and Burnaby) harbour system. Persons who walk along the shores, in the Lower Mailnland, would see more than 1 tanker a day, as compared to the 40/year we have currently under certain predictions from KM.
In certain plans Vancouver’s harbour waters would need to be dredged to accommodate the large oil tankers. Dredging is a constant evil of city living, but that doesn’t make it’s damage to marine life any less.
My numbers may be slightly off and shouldn’t be quoted but are here for example, and intended to be nearest to accurate.
The bitumen is already being pumped to my knowledge (from a public gathering, Burnaby, in 2013).
Why is this happening?? What chaos has allowed oil business to escalate to the current levels of expensive extraction, risky transportation, and confusing international deals. No really!?
Oil is a big business. That is a fact. But it is not a sustainable business, so accountability is questionable.
The Air India court in the BC Supreme Courts on 800 Hornby at Richards housed the trial of KM against the activists this past week. Air India legal action has drawn out over 10 years and is ongoing, though not all hearings in the auspicous courtroom 20. It’s a large room and apparently useful for the large groups of activists that attended the KM vs. Burnaby Activists hearing. There is special security involved in the courtroom functions. The justice handed down in the very expensive historic Air India trial is anti-climatic*. But the fact of that judicial process is not lost. In that case the lives of 329 victims of Air India, and justice sought for their murder, stood in the balance.
Are you still with me? My point? It’s complex, and truth (or right) doesn’t particular flow out of each solution along the way – such as the decision by the courts to uphold the efforts of KM.
So I count my blessings. For every loss there are wins. The people who care for the environment will last much longer than this story. I know it is an ongoing struggle to effect change. This is a big story and one we need to temper our feelings! Media spin..you know…
That said great-on the Vancouver Observer for printing the story and to the writer .
I am most grateful to Mayor Corrigan of Burnaby (good luck this weekend in the Civic Elections) and thank goodness for our democratic freedom – Mayor Corrigan has been very vocal and articulate against the proposal of twinning of the pipeline. God knows I am not always on the Mayor’s side and that of his council. I have spoken out against the zoning changes on the mountain that allowed for 20 story highrises.
I’m grateful to Lynne Quarmb, the SFU professor. I appreciate her courage. I don’t wish her to lose her home to KM. There is much at stake besides Lynn’s home and financial security, there is her good name and her freedom to travel between international borders.
Frankly with the internet, I worry the same for myself for just publishing my views here.
I understand Lynne’s peers at SFU Universty stand behind her.
I support community finding alternatives to this pipeline, but In fairness, the future is not worth the harm to come upon Lynn’s shoulders should she and others passionate and caring for our mountain, consider civil disobedience on or after Monday.
I stood against removal of trees (2010) on the mountain and was largely unsuccessful. It is a tough tide to turn. I was against cutting of trees on the Elementary School (Burnaby School District) grounds pre-occupancy. Even though trees were inside a forest that is not ventured by people (there is a good and effective path system). We stood there because we felt the tree removal was unfounded and needed to be reconsidered.
That informal stand-off came to an end when I decided not to continue my stand off against the tree cutters. I think my peers were disappointed.
My lesson was that we needed public education. If community learns how to accept liability, then community can make different decision and alternative solutions to the expedient removal of trees for example. Those difficult decisions will allow for the vagueries of natural forces to percolate into our everyday lives. We must learn to accept certain liabilities. To take this example to the extreme without cutting down every tree in the forest.
And in the case of KM… In this case I think that the liability may be to perceived loss of industry.
If you are listening KM: Maybe you need to reconsider your business platform to fit in with community. Even Kinder Morgan does not exist in a vacuum.
We need to shut off our cars. We need to tune down.
I strongly believe that we are all connected. This story, relayed and tempered through my own experience locally, has information for our community of North America, and finally our planet.
from Wikipidea: “The trial of Malik and Bagri proceeded between April 2003 and December 2004 in Courtroom 20, more commonly known as “the Air India courtroom”. At a cost of $7.2 million, the high-security courtroom was specially built for the trial in the Vancouver Law Courts. On 16 March 2005, Justice Ian Josephson found the two accused not guilty on all counts because the evidence was inadequate:\.”