Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Canadian energy pipelines, like this one under construction by Kinder Morgan, are subject to extensive regulatory oversight to make them as safe as possible.

Supplied

Kinder Morgan's proposed twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline travels for 1,000 kilometres over mountains and around pristine parks, but the final five-kilometre stretch through Burnaby, B.C., may be the project's toughest, as the company now faces a constitutional challenge to its plans.

In a brief filed earlier this week with the National Energy Board, a lawyer for the City of Burnaby questions whether the board has the constitutional authority to override municipal bylaws that could prohibit Kinder Morgan from undertaking surveying activities in a conservation area.

The latest confrontation comes only two months after Mayor Derek Corrigan vowed to stop the pipeline project.

Story continues below advertisement

The company wants the $5.4-billion pipeline to pass through Burnaby Mountain.

Gregory McDade, the city's lawyer, said the challenge is about more than Burnaby's "opposition to the pipeline," but about whether the federal agency can allow a company to ignore municipal rules before a project is even approved. The bylaws established the park that includes Burnaby Mountain and give the municipality authority over it.

"Our primary concern is that they are planning on destructive activities, including building a helipad in a park set aside by public referendum. Once you declare something by referendum, even council can't change it," Mr. McDade said, noting more than 75 per cent of local voters approved of the park.

"There's a significant question about whether three people at the NEB have the right to change that result."

Burnaby has said it remains open to working with Kinder Morgan if it files an application to work within the city's bylaws.

In a written response, the company said on Friday it does not need to consult Burnaby. Section 73 of the NEB Act suspends the common law that would otherwise require a company seek consent from an owner before it enters their land, the statement said.

According to the company's lawyer, Shawn Denstedt, the act is "very broad" and gives Kinder Morgan full powers to make wide-ranging surveys and studies without Burnaby's permission as long as it seeks to minimize damages.

Story continues below advertisement

The NEB has given Kinder Morgan a December deadline to file studies on the proposed pipeline's route. After Burnaby officials suggested in July that they might consider a challenge, the NEB said it could order the city to allow Kinder Morgan crews onto park land even if the city refuses to provide them with access.

"Trans Mountain has indicated that they do need access to City of Burnaby lands. If the city refuses access, Trans Mountain can request an order from the National Energy Board to gain access to those lands," NEB spokeswoman Sarah Kiley said in July.

Burnaby could still challenge the NEB in a higher court. Mr. Denstedt said a victory for the city would grant "Burnaby an unwarranted veto over energy developments in the national interest."

The Trans Mountain project would triple the capacity of a pipeline built in 1953. While other proposed pipelines to the West Coast have faced tough questions and delay, including Enbridge's Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan's proposal was promised as an easy fix to move oil from Alberta. More than 10,000 questions were filed in response to the firm's application to the NEB.

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

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

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