Energy Infrastructure Issues Examined by FCM
Prince George, B.C. – The issue of pipelines moving through urban areas has become a controversial one over the past couple of years and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is taking a closer look at the concerns.“In the past year, there were a lot of discussions around energy and a number of municipalities took pretty strong stands, so the FCM has put together an Energy Infrastructure task force ” says Prince George City Councillor and FCM Board Member Garth Frizzell.
He says the task force will examine what kind of leverage municipalities have, their interests and concerns “We are going to look across Canada and see what the best practices are and pull those together and report back to municipalities next summer.”
“We are just in the early stages right now of gathering what other people have done and what the policy concerns are across Canada.”
Here in BC, there has been a significant outcry over the Trans Mountain Pipeline extension in the lower mainland. Just this past week, the Regional District of Fraser Fort George received a letter from the City of Victoria which requested the RDFFG support opposition to the extension over concerns of oil tanker spills.
Valemount Mayor Jeannette Townsend is one of those who has concerns “Being realistic , the product is going to be transported anyway, I certainly don’t want it coming through our town on Yellowhead 5 nor through Mount Robson Park where the trucks and trains run right along the Fraser River.” She says the Village of Valemount will be sending its own letter to the Federal Government expressing concerns. “I just feel that they (City of Victoria) expect everyone else to have hazardous materials transported right through their community but they don’t want anything around their City and I have a real issue with this.”
But Frizzell says not all jurisdictions have the same view “In Alberta, different municipalities have different views. We can’t say the gut tells you we are only going to go in one direction. We’re really looking at a wide range of different views.”
The Energy Infrastructure Task Force’s final report will be ready by next June. “We’ve already had a couple of meetings and going into Oakville for the regular Board meeting in September, so I imagine we’ll get some work done there too.”