organ can add Port Moody as an extra stop on their route to sell proposed pipeline expansion plans.
On Oct. 8, city council voted in favour of a motion inviting and working with the energy company to hold a town hall meeting in the community sometime this fall.
Coun. Rick Glumac, who brought the original motion forward, said he pictured a meeting similar to one hosted by North Vancouver last month that ended up being packed with residents.
He said he wanted to leave it to city staff to coordinate the event for Port Moody.
But the idea drew a fair amount of debate amongst council members.
Coun. Diana Dilworth, the lone councillor to vote against the motion, suggested the city, by taking the lead in organizing the town hall, could set a “scary” precedent.
“I agree a town hall meeting should be held. I don’t believe it’s the city’s jurisdiction to hold and fund one,” she said. Instead, Dilworth said the city should be encouraging Kinder Morgan to hold its own town hall meeting.
Mayor Mike Clay said he supports the motion for a town hall, but at the same time blasted the format of such an event.
He said the concept of asking a question in a town hall meeting is to “grandstand,” adding there is plenty of information available from Kinder Morgan regarding the project.
“The value of it being a town hall meeting is generally so people can stand at a microphone and yell at people, which isn’t constructive to good process,” Clay said.
The mayor also suggested the cost to hold the town hall meeting could top $1,000.
But other councillors disagreed.
Coun. Gerry Nuttall disagreed with the cost estimate, arguing that, for a few hundred dollars he didn’t want to derail the opportunity to have Kinder Morgan answer questions. He said the issue is extremely important and all residents should understand and have an opportunity to learn about the expansion.
Last month, a spokesperson with Kinder Morgan said the company has responded to similar requests and would likely be open to a meeting with Port Moody.
Kinder Morgan is proposing to expand the 1,150-kilometre pipeline to handle a capacity of 890,000 barrels per day. The new pipeline would stretch 980 kilometres and cost $5.4 billion to build.
The current portion of the line in the Tri-Cities lies in Coquitlam, beginning at Schooner Street near the Fraser River and running through the centre of the city.
The proposed pipeline would not run through Port Moody.
Glumac has argued the proposed pipeline would add tanker traffic to the inlet, adding that a spill in the inlet would impact Port Moody.
© Copyright 2013