The National Energy Board has ruled the B.C. government and public do not have the right to see Kinder Morgan’s emergency response plans, citing "personal, commercial and security reasons."
As a make-good, the energy giant apparently offered to turn over its plans in full to the government, but not the public at large. The premier took to the airwaves on Tuesday to say that simply wasn’t good enough, and rightly so.
While the government is elected to represent us and the bureaucracy is hired to serve us, the public at large has a stake in the outcome of this process and, accordingly, the right to know and scrutinize all aspects of it.
"Trust us" doesn’t cut it for the communities, environmental groups, First Nations and first responders along the pipeline’s path and it doesn’t cut it for us.
Christy Clark has made a big deal of her "five conditions" for approval of any pipelines in B.C., two of which were "world-leading" oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for both B.C.’s coastline and land-based spills.
In 2013, a federal panel concluded Canada was not prepared to handle a major tanker spill in Southern B.C. Pipeline advocates will tell you they are safer than ever yet spills continue to happen and clean-ups can be botched.
If Kinder Morgan’s pipeline – or any other pipeline for that matter – is to go ahead, we’d rather that be decided after a full public vetting of the worst-case scenarios.
That sure beats finding out after the fact the plans weren’t up to snuff. Better to ask permission than beg forgiveness.