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Corrigan says feds on the side of oil lobby 0

By Ada Slivinski, QMI Agency Vancouver

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Westridge Marine Terminal in  Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday May 11, 2014. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday May 11, 2014. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan says Kinder Morgan’s proposed route change — which would bore a pipeline under Burnaby Mountain — is nothing but a public relations move to distract from the real issues about the proposal.

Corrigan, a vocal critic of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline twinning, said the struggle against big oil companies is like “David versus Goliath.”

Oil company lobbyists who are able to spend a lot of time in Ottawa have an advantage over cities like Burnaby, said Corrigan, who alleged companies like Kinder Morgan “think the law’s been designed to suit their purpose,” and accused the government of rigging the process.

Sarah Kiley, a spokesperson for the NEB, defended the board as an independent tribunal operating at arm’s length from the government.

“Our recommendations and decisions are based on the facts and evidence that is placed on the record,” she said.

The route change was proposed in response to an April 15 request from the National Energy Board for Trans Mountain to “list the alternative routes under consideration for the Burnaby to Westridge segment of proposed pipeline corridor.”

Burnaby sent Kinder Morgan a 300-page information request regarding the project in early May and the province also sent 70 requests for information regarding the project.

The City of Vancouver weeks ago took aim at the NEB and called the process “undemocratic” as it criticized what it said were tight timelines for responding to the company’s initial proposal.

Wednesday it was Kinder Morgan that thought the timelines were too tight.

The company said it has filed a notice of motion to the NEB to ask for the June 4 deadline to be extended to June 27 in order to respond to the more than 10,000 questions from intervenors.

The company had initially said it would answer all questions by the June 4 deadline.

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