Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

The City of Burnaby, B.C., whose mayor is sharply opposed to the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, is under pressure from homeowners near a pair of protest camps.

June 17, 2018 - Vancouver residents Bodhi Noh (left) and George Rommell protest the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline outside the Kwekwecnewtxw Watch House, just down the walking path from Camp Cloud in Burnaby, B.C.

Jackie Dives/The Globe and Mail

The pressure has come as the city, which is the end point for the pipeline from the Edmonton area, has taken court action against the pipeline, and Mayor Derek Corrigan has said the city won’t cover RCMP costs for dealing with protesters, who have targeted a tank farm from which bitumen is loaded into tankers.

In a recent submission to city council, area resident Darlene Johnston tabled a petition with 176 residents’ signatures and expressed concerns about traffic, fire safety, litter and the “negative impact of the protest activities on adjacent property values.”

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. Johnston, speaking for residents, called for the camps to be torn down – a view shared by others in the area.

On Sunday, Ms. Johnston, who has lived in Burnaby for 46 years, said she stands by that view.

“Burnaby is doing nothing. They say they are monitoring the situation, but that means nothing to us,” she said in an interview.

“The city is turning a blind eye to bylaws being broken because the mayor is opposed to the pipeline,” said Barbara Spitz, a former school trustee who lives in the area.

There are two camps – Camp Cloud and Watch House – bases for protest against the pipeline expansion, which would triple the amount of diluted bitumen and other oil products moving from Edmonton to the area around the camps.

Mayor Corrigan did not respond on Sunday to calls seeking comment on the situation.

City manager Lambert Chu said in an interview that the city continues to grapple with the issues raised by residents, as well as balancing the city’s political position with the concerns of neighbours to the camps with the rights of protesters.

Story continues below advertisement

“There are still some outstanding items that we want to work toward,” he said.

Mr. Chu said the situation is unprecedented in his 28 years working for the city, noting that there was an isolated protest in 2014 against exploratory work on pipeline expansion, but nothing like the consequences of the two current camps.

“This is a new experience for the city of Burnaby,” he said. “This is going to go on for a long time, and it’s not something we have experienced in the past.”

Will George, a leader at the Watch House camp, said on Sunday that there are divisions between residents and the camps, but all sides are united in opposition to the pipeline expansion and its consequences.

“I would say it’s a work in progress,” Mr. George said, when asked to describe the status of efforts to reach a consensus between the protesters and area residents. “We’ll have to learn to get along some way and somehow.”

He said he never allows more than a dozen people to be in his camp at any given time.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Chu said he is mindful of the city’s advocacy against the pipeline while working through issues around the camps.

“We try to separate the city’s position with respect to opposing the pipeline and dealing with the protests and the resident concerns,” he said.

The City of Burnaby has announced plans to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to assess a lower-court decision that denied the city leave to appeal a National Energy Board ruling that allows Kinder Morgan to bypass local laws during construction of the pipeline expansion.

Ottawa is putting up $4.5-billion to buy the existing pipeline and is taking on financial responsibility for the pipeline expansion, which has been projected to cost $7.4-billion.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies