Not a Peep about Trans Mountain during Meeting between PM, Vancouver Mayor

By Omand, Geordon | The Canadian Press, August 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

Not a Peep about Trans Mountain during Meeting between PM, Vancouver Mayor


Omand, Geordon, The Canadian Press


PM, Vancouver mayor talk housing, transit, opioids

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VANCOUVER - Housing, transit and the devastating opioid crisis were the main topics of conversation Tuesday between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, but talk of a controversial pipeline expansion was absent.

Speaking later outside city hall, Robertson appeared unfazed that the Kinder Morgan pipeline wasn't on the agenda, even though he has described the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline project as a "big step backwards" for Canada's environment and economy.

"We didn't spend time talking about Kinder Morgan," Robertson told reporters, gesturing with his hand as if to brush the topic aside. "The B.C. government is working on that, to some degree."

The province's previous Liberal government signed off on the pipeline before the May election. The federal government had approved the project a few months earlier.

British Columbia's new government, under NDP Premier John Horgan, has pledged to use every tool at its disposal to block the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion that would see a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic in the waters off Vancouver.

Robertson said previously he was "profoundly disappointed" by the federal government's decision, but the change in the provincial government means the city can focus on other issues.

"It's great to have the alignment of the B.C. government now, that's what changed," said Robertson, who is a former New Democrat member of the legislative assembly.

He noted First Nations are fighting the pipeline expansion in court and financial markets may also have an impact on the completion of the project.

Speaking ahead of his meeting with Robertson, Trudeau commended the mayor for his work and said he looks forward to collaborating on issues that matter to Canadians.

"The federal government has stepped up for the first time in a long time in setting aside billions of dollars for housing," Trudeau said. …

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