MLA Rich Coleman and his wife Michele were in attendance at the recent Township of Langley volunteer appreciation evening. (Langley Advance files)

LETTER: Langley MLA Rich Coleman speaks in favour of pipeline

The Liberal Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA claims it’s about more than just breaking a legal agreement.

Dear Editor,

The Trans Mountain pipeline has operated safely for 60 years.

The pipeline was not just dreamt up recently but rather has been subject to a five-year legal approval process.

All aspects of the environment (there are many), construction, First Nations, engineering, geotechnical, and related items were scrutinized, received public input and due process with support from many of the First Nation’s along the pipeline route.

Economic benefit agreements were agreed to, employment and trade commitments were made, on Coast and on land environmental responses and investments were agreed to.

Along with their approval, the federal government committed to enhancing coastal response and B.C. received a commitment of $50 million per year to support communities across the province.

All of this, a four-and-a-half- to five-year process, followed the legal requirements for approval under the laws in Canada and the laws in British Columbia.

The decision to approve the project (with conditions) was only done after the extensive review by professional public servants and the approval of the statutory decision makers and approval by cabinet.

The BC NDP are choosing to ignore the laws, statutory decision powers and approvals, contending they don’t have to accept the legal decisions.

The message this government continues to send is they oppose anything, even legally and properly approved projects, if it does not support their agenda, feelings, or whim.

The NDP are putting our province at risk to a cataclysmic environmental catastrophe.

They would prefer 10 trains, each 100 cars long, per day, carrying oil along our most critical rivers and streams, the Fraser and Thompson Rivers. Through Cache Creek, Ashcroft, Hope, Mission, Langley, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Burnaby and many more.

Dozens of First Nations communities will be affected.

The Trans Mountain pipeline has operated safely for 60 years.

This project is about safely moving a product in the national interest, jobs for thousands of people, and brings other economic benefits.

It is about health care, daycare, social programs, and the future for thousands of British Columbians.

It is also about B.C., Alberta, and Canada.

We are all Canadians, we have the most rigorous environmental and protection standards in the world.

When a company or organization follows the process, spends millions of dollars to complete the legal process, and subsequently receives multiple approvals they deserve to meet the conditions and build.

Today we find ourselves in a situation where the BC NDP government has decided to ignore the legal process and send the message to international and Canadian investors that they should not view B.C., nor Canada, as a place to invest and build.

The people who then suffer here are those young people who want careers in trades, technology, environmental management, engineering, etc.

Rather than spin, the NDP need to respect and follow the legal process for the benefit of all of us.

Millions of barrels a day, by rail, all along our rivers and through our communities is not the answer.

Rich Coleman, MLA Langley East

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