Green councillor seeks referendum on tankers in Burrard Inlet
Jericho Sailing club members make there way through the Burrard Inlet in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday April 7, 2013. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)
A Vancouver city councillor wants residents to have a chance to vote in a referendum on oil tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet.
Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr is tabling a motion to have the city add a plebiscite to its Nov. 15 election ballot regarding Kinder Morgan’s plans to increase oil tanker traffic through Vancouver’s harbour.
The traffic would come with a proposed twinning of an existing oil pipeline linking the Westridge Terminal in Burnaby to Alberta.
“We’re running into a time when the hearings are about to start and I want a chance for Vancouverites to have their say on this, to have their vote,” Carr said. “The plebiscite needs to focus on the tanker traffic.”
Carr said she’s concerned about a possible oil spill and increases in fossil fuel emissions from tankers, saying it runs counter to Vancouver’s stated aim to be the world’s greenest city.
Vancouver signed up for intervenor status on the pipeline because of the tanker traffic going through Burrard Inlet.
Carr said the pipeline’s approval would triple tanker traffic.
Scott Stoness, Kinder Morgan’s vice-president of regulatory affairs, said it’s too soon to hold a referendum on the subject.
“We are aware of the motion submitted by City of Vancouver Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr,” wrote Stoness. “The City of Vancouver, as an intervenor, will have opportunity to provide evidence within the regulatory process and it is inefficient to hold a plebiscite before all the facts are known.”
The motion to add the tanker vote to the November election ballot will be brought to council May 13.