Henry Braun

No strings attached: The facts regarding Ledgeview, Kinder Morgan, City of Abbotsford and the NEB

Over the past two years, the City of Abbotsford has undertaken ongoing discussions with Kinder Morgan Canada over multiple community concerns, the majority of which have been addressed. At the oral hearings before the National Energy Board (NEB) on January 29, 2016, the City of Abbotsford put forward our outstanding key concerns over emergency planning, training, and the need for resources to respond in a timely and effective manner.

Throughout our interactions with Kinder Morgan, the concept of an amenity agreement was always on the table and didn’t just pop up in the last weeks or months.

The amenity agreement is a completely separate matter from Abbotsford’s NEB presentation and was agreed to after our presentation was filed with the NEB, not before. The discussions regarding the amenity agreement were confidential until a final agreement was reached, and rightly so.

I want to be clear: The final amenity agreement was reached after Abbotsford’s presentation was filed with the NEB in January. Abbotsford City Council did this in order to make a principled decision outside of our discussions regarding our concerns.

If the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project is approved by the NEB and the Federal Government of Canada, the project will have a direct impact on City-owned Ledgeview Golf & Country Club. For the past 38 years, the Ledgeview Golf Society has managed and operated the Ledgeview Golf & Country Club facilities on behalf of the City. In 2014, the City renewed the lease agreement with the Society to operate the facility, with the City receiving revenues in the form of rent and profit sharing. The community benefits agreement that Council signed will mitigate how the proposed pipeline expansion project impacts the operations of Ledgeview, while also providing for a direct benefit to the community through the addition of amenities (such as a public restaurant and meeting space) at the clubhouse.

While I understand that those who are opposed to the pipeline are not likely to ever support taking any money from Kinder Morgan, Abbotsford City Council choose to accept their gift on a principled basis, without any strings attached. Those are the facts.

Kinder Morgan Canada has been very responsive and a good corporate citizen in working with the City of Abbotsford in understanding the impacts of the proposed expansion on our community and our residents. Seven key events held in Abbotsford include:

  1. Two Open Houses in Fall 2012
  2. ESA Agricultural Workshop Spring 2013
  3. Routing Workshop Spring 2013
  4. Two Information Sessions for Sandy Hill neighbours - Summer 2014 and Spring 2015
  5. Facilities OH Summer 2014
  6. Emergency Management Workshop Winter 2014
  7. Agricultural EPP workshop Fall 2015
Finally, if the project is approved by the NEB and Federal Government of Canada, the City of Abbotsford stands to collect an additional $1.3 million in taxes annually, bringing the total to almost $3.4 million annually. In addition, the expansion will result in an estimated $193 million in construction spending in the City, and workers are expected to spend approximately $18.1 million on things such as accommodation, meals, and clothing in the Fraser Valley, not to mention the $1.3 million announced as part of the Community Benefits Program.

The City looks forward to an ongoing positive relationship with Kinder Morgan Canada and to continuing to foster a proactive working relationship that considers community safety above all other considerations.

If you have further questions, please contact Phil Blaker, Director, Building and Development Engineering at pblaker@abbotsford.ca or 604-864-5505.

If you need to get in touch with me, call or write: 604-864-5500 / MayorBraun@Abbotsford.ca.