May 20, 2016 - 10:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - With the National Energy Board giving a conditional thumbs up to the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, construction in the grasslands of Lac du Bois is one step closer.
If approved by the federal government the pipeline twinning project will run alongside the current section in Kamloops. There are two proposed routes through the area although the exact routes haven't been confirmed. The city has recommended the new pipeline pass through the Lac du Bois area as opposed to the alternative, which would follow the route the existing pipeline, and affect more than 100 residents of Westsyde, nearby schools, parks and businesses.
The pipeline runs from northern Alberta through to Burnaby, passing through Kamloops along Westsyde Road in the north before cutting through part of Lac du Bois and near the airport, crossing under the Thompson River and through Kenna Cartwright Park. The pipeline currently runs through part of the KGHM Ajax Mining Inc. property south of Kamloops and is set to be partially rerouted in that area as well.
If approved, the pipeline will have significant economic impact to the region. More than $42 million in workforce spending would come to the Kamoops area, according to a North Shore Business Improvement Association media release.
The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce says in a media release the city would benefit to the tune of $1.2 million in taxes annually.
Additionally, the city has signed an agreement with the pipeline’s operator Kinder Morgan for $700,000 in spending on city projects near the airport. Other nearby communities along the pipelines route have also signed agreements, including Barriere and Merritt.
Not everyone is excited though, as concerns have been raised by activists, First Nations and city staff about the pipeline’s impact on residents and the environment.
The North Shore Business Improvement Association is hosting a talk with Kinder Morgan staff on Wednesday, May 25, at Reubin’s Diner on 204 Tranquille Rd. between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
— This story was updated at 12:44 p.m., May 20, 2016, for style and to clarify the route of the pipeline.
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