Mobile Business License in New West, Surrey, Burnaby, Vancouver, Delta, Richmond May 29, 2013

For Immediate Release May 29, 2013

 

The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce Applauds City’s Motion to Participate in Mobile Business License Program

 

On Monday May 27, 2013,  the City of New Westminster Council passed a motion to participate in a Mobile Business License Pilot program with Delta, Richmond, Surrey , Vancouver and Burnaby.

“The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce is extremely pleased that the City of New Westminster is demonstrating strong leadership in our business community” says Christine Conway, Chamber President. “ This decision will make it easier and more cost effective  for New Westminster businesses to operate in other Metro Vancouver Jurisdictions.”

The target date to implement this pilot project is October 2013 and will apply to construction related businesses. The project will extend to 24 month, and during this period City staff will review all aspects of the program.

“The City of New Westminster aims to create a positive environment that allows business to thrive,” said New Westminster Mayor Wayne Wright. “Signing on to the mobile business license program with adjacent municipalities is a great example of action we’re taking to do just that.”

Organizations from all over BC have been advocating for this single license program but it has remained a priority for Chambers of Commerce for several years.

“Mobile business licenses are crucial for the effective flow of goods and services in the province,” said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “The BC Chamber has just passed policy calling on the provincial government to support efforts throughout the province to develop mobile business licenses. We’re delighted to see the City of New Westminster supporting these business-friendly licenses.”

Beginning on January 1, 2008 the Okanagan-Similkameen region introduced a successful 12-month Mobile Business License pilot project in seventeen communities. At the end of the pilot the 17 municipalities had realised an increase in revenue of $205,000. On January 1, 2013 nine municipalities in the Fraser Valley launched a one year pilot. Additionally, municipalities in the Tri-Cities area have launched a regional Mobile Business License program

The success of these pilot projects builds on evidence in other jurisdictions in the province that have shown the benefits of such a model. Prior to the pilot projects in the lower mainland, inter-municipal business licence agreements existed in: Victoria Capital Region, Cowichan Valley, North Okanagan, North-West Vancouver, Courtenay-Comox, and the Trail Region.

To date all of the Mobile Business License projects have been a resounding success.

The benefits to local governments, business, and residents of a Mobile Business License model have been supported by the feedback and financial success of the Okanagan-Similkameen, Fraser Valley, and other programs already in place.

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The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst for business people to work together to create a strong and vibrant economy and enhance the quality of life in our community. The Chamber reduces barriers to business, opens new markets for business, provides a cohesive business network and provides programs and services which have a positive impact on your bottom line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAMBER CALLS FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND COAL MOVEMENT AT KEY POLICY FORUM May 27, 2013

For Immediate Release- May 27, 2013

 

CHAMBER CALLS FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND COAL MOVEMENT AT KEY POLICY FORUM

 

New Westminster, BC –  The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce has called for an environmentally sound approach to coal transportation at a key provincial policy forum.

 

“New Westminster is front and centre in the coal debates that are taking place in the Lower Mainland,” said Christine Conway, president of the New Westminster Chamber. “Our chamber is committed to supporting environmentally-responsible economic growth in New Westminster, including the proposed expansion at Fraser Surrey Docks’ coal facility. But we know that, for this project to achieve social license in New Westminster, our community needs the best possible information and clarity on environmental questions.”

To that end, Conway just participated in the BC chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting in Nanaimo (May 23-25), where the BC Chamber sets its policy agenda for the year. The BC Chamber of Commerce represents the interests and concerns of 36,000 businesses. The organization’s annual AGM provides a platform for business communities all across British Columbia to assemble and address concerns and issues that are causing an impediment to their respective and provincial economic growth.

And Conway made sure her voice was heard at the policy table.

 

“There was a transportation and export policy on the table, specifically addressing the movement of coal,” she said. “ By forming our position as a Chamber, I was able to present an amendment to the delegates that would address environmental concerns by committing to education and mitigation of environmental impact.   The environmental impact was not considered anywhere in this important policy until the New Westminster Chamber brought it up.  I’m proud to say that the amendment was accepted, and your concerns will now be brought by the BC Chamber to provincial and possibly federal levels of government.”

 

Recently the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce has taken a position in support of the proposed coal facility at Fraser Surrey Docks. The Chamber’s position, when read in its entirety, also states that we recognize both the global and local health and environmental impacts of coal handling,  transportation, and use.  The Chamber believes that both the companies involved and the industry as a whole should act to mitigate these important concerns.

 

The BC Chamber has commended the New Westminister Chamber on its contributions at the recent AGM.

 

“Last year, we were delighted to welcome New Westminster Chamber of Commerce into our organization, and already, this engaged Chamber is helping drive policy in the province,” said John Winter, the BC Chamber’s president and CEO. “The New Westminster Chamber’s policy work at this most recent AGM shows the organization’s excellent leadership in its community and is tangible proof that, no matter the size, every Chamber in the province can help drive business-friendly policy in B.C.”

 

The resolutions passed at this weekend’s session are not exhaustive of all policies but they are added to the existing lobby efforts that the BC Chamber and becomes part of The BC Chamber’s legislative program.

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The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst for business people to work together to create a strong and vibrant economy and enhance the quality of life in our community. The Chamber reduces barriers to business, opens new markets for business, provides a cohesive business network and provides programs and services which have a positive impact on your bottom line.

 

 

Media contacts:

 

 

Mrs. Christine Conway                                             Mr. John Winter
President                                                                 President and CEO

New Westminster Chamber of Commerce              BC Chamber of Commerce
604-521-3778                                                           604-683-0700

 

 

 

Braid Street Business Association Calls to Action May 24, 2013

 

At its May meeting the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors welcomed Mr. Stan Weismiller and Mr. Russ Bain from the Braid Street Business Association.

 

The Board was unanimous in its support for the “Calls to Action” issued by the businesses in the Braid Street Area and furthermore the Chamber Directors will be participating in a walking tour of the area in the very near future.

 

Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion through the Lower Mainland May 24, 2013

Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion through the Lower Mainland

August 24th, 2012

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (Published: August 24, 2012)

Kinder Morgan, a Texas-based company, is planning a $5 billion expansion to twin its Trans Mountain Pipeline which runs from the Alberta tar sands to its Westridge terminal in Burnaby.

This project is often confused with the Enbridge Northern Gateway project which is proposed for northern BC.   The Trans Mountain Pipeline currently has 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, diesel and gas come down the line through the prairies, through Jasper National Park, over the Rocky Mountains, though Hope, Chilliwack, Surrey, and Coquitlam to Burnaby. A total of 2,200 land owners have property along the route.

Currently the fuel is exported using 80 oil tankers each year routed through Burrard Inlet.

The proposed expansion will:

  • more than double the amount of fuel coming through the line to 750,000 bpd; and
  • more than quadruple the number of tankers to 360 per year to move the oil.

In September 2012, Kinder Morgan will begin a public consultation with local communities and stakeholders along the proposed route and marine corridor. This consultation is expected to last up to 24 months.

It is important for property owners and community residents to be as informed as possible about this proposed expansion.

For the expansion to go ahead, Kinder Morgan requires the approval of the National Energy Board, the federal approving body. The company plans to apply for approval in 2013.

What will the expansion include?

  •   Expanding the pipeline to a dual line operation along the 1,150 kilometers of pipeline by 2017.
  •   Adding 890 kilometers of new pipeline.
  •   Adding new pumping stations along the route.
  •   Adding a second berth for storage capacity.
  •   Expanding the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.
  •   Increasing the capacity between the Burnaby Terminal and the Westridge Marine Terminal.
  •   Dredging the Second Narrows channel to accommodate additional tankers trips. Some tankers will contain up to one million barrels of oil and will be required to pass through the Second Narrows at high tide, where there is less than two metres between the tanker hull and the ocean floor.

Who is affected?

  •   More than 2,200 landowners along the pipeline.
  •   More than 20 local governments.
  •   More than 82 First Nations and Aboriginal groups.
  •   Waterfront property owners.

What are the key concerns?

Key concerns focus on four areas:

  1. Consultation: the need for wide-ranging consultation with local governments, property owners, First Nations, environmental groups and other stakeholders by Kinder Morgan and the National Energy Board.
  2. Environment: expansion plans must undergo rigorous environmental assessments.
  3. Disaster planning: there must be thorough disaster plans in place at the federal, provincial and local government levels to address risks associated with a potential spill including how to respond to and address the clean-up of toxic materials and fumes, as well as health issues in Burrard Inlet or along the coastline.
  4. Economy: if a spill occurs, there is potential for job losses in tourism, fisheries and related industries.

Who is interested?

Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM)

Local governments at the Union of BC Municipalities September 2011 conference expressed their concerns by passing this motion:

“Therefore be it resolved that the UBCM request that the National Energy Board, Port Metro Vancouver, and all appropriate Federal Ministers ensure that any application to expand the amount of oil transported by pipeline and tanker undergo:

a) the highest degree of environmental assessment; and,

b) meaningful public consultation, including direct engagement with affected municipalities, regional authorities and BC First Nations.”

Eight local governments

In December 2011, Mayor Gregor Robertson joined with seven other south coast mayors to express concerns that a potential oil spill could have significant negative impacts on residents, the liveability of the region and health of the environment and the economy. They are asking the National Energy Board to ensure a robust process of public consultation and hearings in the Lower Mainland regarding Kinder Morgan’s future plans for pipeline expansion and increased crude oil shipments through Vancouver harbour.

City of Burnaby

On May 28, 2012, Council unanimously approved motions to advise the Federal and Provincial Ministers of the Environment that expansion of the pipeline through Burnaby is not supported given the significant risks to and impacts on Burnaby’s economic, social and environmental well-being with limited potential off-setting benefits at a local, regional or provincial level.

Burnaby Council is also asking the Federal and Provincial Ministers of Environment and the National Energy Board to conduct a thorough assessment on all aspects of potential pipeline expansion, taking into consideration the concerns and potential impacts that expansion may have for Burnaby and the broader Metro Vancouver region.

Burnaby Council also advised Premier Christy Clark to undertake a broad public review of the risks and benefits of establishing new crude oil export ports on the coast of BC and to establish a provincial strategy and position on the appropriate type, scale, nature, location and role of oil export facilities to be developed in the province.

City of North Vancouver

Mayor Darrell Mussatto has asked Kinder Morgan to agree to an independent audit of spill response times on both land and water.

District of West Vancouver

On July 23, 2012, in keeping with the District’s Shoreline Protection Plan, Council approved motions that Kinder Morgan be obligated to demonstrate mitigating measures in place for any oil spill that would reach West Vancouver shores or marine life, and indemnify West Vancouver for the amount equal to the projected cleanup of a worst case oil spill, should the National Energy Board approve this strategy.

Council also asked West Vancouver’s MP and MLAs to ensure a provincial strategy is developed before any oil exportation operation of this magnitude is proposed for export. The Council also asked the Mayor to write to the Prime Minister, the Premier, the Federal and Provincial Ministers of the Environment, the National Energy Board, and the President of Kinder Morgan expressing West Vancouver’s opposition to any increase in oil tanker traffic through the Port of Vancouver.

Vancouver Park Board

On April 30, 2012, the Vancouver Park Board passed a motion that it is strongly opposed to any expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

The Park Board notes that it has invested and continues to invest in projects to restore the natural environment around out waterways including the creation of a salt water marsh at New Brighton Park and restoring Jericho Wharf, and that the city waterways are an integral component of Vancouver’s recreational lifestyle.

Vancouver is branding itself as the greenest city in the world, and becoming the main tanker route for crude oil bound for China, does not fit with this image.

City of Vancouver

In February 2012, Council passed a motion to send a letter to Kinder Morgan requesting the company consult with the City of Vancouver about any plans and any application it makes to the National Energy Board. Council also reiterated support for the 2011 UBCM motion about the importance of public consultation, including direct engagement with affected municipalities, regional authorities and First Nations.

In May 2012, Council passed a motion expressing the City of Vancouver’s strenuous opposition to any increase in oil tanker traffic, or measures that lead to increased oil tanker traffic, as it poses an unacceptable and unmitigated risk to Vancouver’s economy and environment.”

In July 2012, Council passed a motion to write to the BC government requesting the province retain its right to conduct a provincial environmental assessment regarding the Kinder Morgan pipeline and oil export expansion project.

Islands Trust

On June 19, 2012, the Islands Trust voted to oppose in principle oil pipeline projects that will expand oil export by barge and tanker from Canada’s West Coast, because the proposed expansion poses an unacceptable risk to local quality of life.

The Islands Trust Council is also writing to the federal Minister of Natural Resources to support the phasing out of crude oil export from Canada’s West Coast by tanker and barge as part of a national energy strategy. The letter will request that the provincial and federal governments consider developing a low-carbon energy strategy that strengthens both Canada’s environment and economy.

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation

On July 7, 2012, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation demonstrated its opposition to the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker traffic by adding its name to the Yinka Dene Alliance’s Save the Fraser Declaration. The Declaration seeks to ban tar sands pipelines through First Nations traditional territories and oil tankers in the ocean migration routes of Fraser River salmon on the north and south coasts of BC. The Declaration has been signed by more than 100 First Nations, forming an unbroken chain from the US border to the Arctic Ocean.

BC government

On August 1, 2012, BC Environment Minister Terry Lake summarized the government’s position on heavy oil pipelines and its concerns and listed five aggressive requirements that must be met before the government will consider any heavy oil pipeline proposal.

“Our government recognizes that British Columbians have legitimate concerns about heavy oil pipelines in our province, “said Minister Lake. The five requirements are:

  •   Successful completion of the environmental review process.
  •   World-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for BC’s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy oil pipelines and shipments.
  •   World-leading practices for land oil spill prevention, response and recovery systems to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy oil pipelines.
  •   Legal requirements regarding Aboriginal and treaty rights are addressed, and First Nations are provided with the opportunities, information and resources to participate in and benefit from a heavy-oil project.
  •   BC receives a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits of a proposed heavy oil project that reflects the level, degree and nature of the risk borne by the province, the environment and taxpayers.

The Minister also released a technical analysis, Requirements for British Columbia to Consider Support for Heavy Oil Pipelines.

Business Community

BC Chamber of Commerce

BC Chamber of Commerce President John Winter said he’s seen nothing yet to justify opposing Kinder Morgan’s plan for expanded oil exports. “I see enhanced benefits to this project which will lead to economic activity. It will help to continue to enable all of us to heat our homes and drive our cars and get our products to market. Without the proposed pipeline expansion, how will we continue to do this?”

Chevron

In June 2012, Chevron Canada Ltd., which has operated a refinery in Burnaby since 1935, applied to the National Energy Board for priority access to the pipeline to guarantee it has enough oil to supply its refinery.

There have been problems receiving oil from Kinder Morgan and Chevron has had times when it received only 30 – 40% of what it requested.

Chevron, which employs 400 staff and contractors at the Burnaby refinery, states that it is committed to the long-term operation of the refinery, but that commitment is dependent on a reliable source of crude oil.

“The availability of that stock is being threatened by the apportionment of capacity nominated on the Kinder Morgan-owned Trans Mountain Pipeline due to historically high volume requests from shippers located outside of BC,” reports Chevron.

Kinder Morgan’s response

Kinder Morgan Canada has begun an extensive consultation on all aspects of the proposed expansion project and plans to talk with landowners, Aboriginal groups, communities and stakeholders.

“We are still early in the engagement process of the project, says Ian Anderson, President of Kinder Morgan.   Anderson explains that at Kinder Morgan, “we value and respect our open relationships with many communities and organizations interested in our business. We are committed to an inclusive, extensive and thorough engagement with all stakeholders on all aspects of the proposed Trans Mountain Expansion Project.”

Kinder Morgan’s objective is to treat each landowner fairly and equitably. For those who may be directly affected by the proposed expansion project, Kinder Morgan’s goal is “to ensure we identify and address landowners’ concerns, answer questions and mitigate any potential impacts.”

Helping property owners understand what’s at stake

When Burnaby-Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart couldn’t get his hands on a map of the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion route, he commissioned one (it cost a few hundred dollars) to help his constituents understand what’s at stake if the National Energy Board gives the green light to the project.

“I’ve had thousands of phone calls from concerned residents and they needed this information,” explains Stewart.

While the exact route of the proposed expansion is still not known, it will likely stay within the existing right-of-way, which Kinder Morgan owns. What concerns Stewart, is that this right-of-way may be expanded.

“Kinder Morgan wants to expand the general corridor to 150 metes (492 ft) wide and within that, its current 9 metre (30 ft) right-of-way to an 18 metre (60 ft) right-of way. This could significantly affect properties along the route,” says Stewart, who describes the right-of-way as a “potential expropriation zone.”

The pipeline is now routed through residential areas so it’s important for home owners and other interested community members to get as much information as possible and to attend consultation sessions.

Insurance Concerns

The need for property owners to inform themselves is echoed by disaster planner Guy Robertson, owner of Robertson Consulting, who also suggests residential and commercial property owners along the proposed line expansion and owners of waterfront property consult their insurance companies to determine coverage options. “Property owners also need to manage their risk so they know exactly what to do and who to contact in the event of a toxic spill,” explains Guy Robertson.

Lindsay Olson, vice-president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that coverage may be provided under a comprehensive home owner’s policy, but home owners should always confirm with their insurance representative.

On May 1, 2012 Vancouver City Council passed a motion directing staff to prepare a bylaw requiring pipeline operators and oil tankers operating in Vancouver to carry enough liability insurance to indemnify the City of Vancouver and existing local industries through appropriate liability insurance to cover the cost of cleanup and loss of business as a result of a spill.

NEW WESTMINSTER CHAMBER ISSUES FORMAL STATEMENT REGARDING SURREY FRASER DOCKS COAL FACILITY EXPANSION May 23, 2013

For Immediate Release May 23, 2013

 

 

NEW WESTMINSTER  CHAMBER ISSUES FORMAL STATEMENT REGARDING SURREY FRASER DOCKS COAL FACILITY EXPANSION

 

On Tuesday May 21, 2013,  the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors met with Surrey Fraser Docks CEO Jeff Scott.

 

The Board members raised many concerns related to rail noise and coal dust and how New Westminster business and residents would be affected.

 

“Given the extensive dust mitigation tactics that the project will initiate and the absence of need for any rail cars in New Westminster, the board was satisfied that Surrey Fraser Docks responded to all of the local concerns,states Chamber Executive Director, Cori Lynn Germiquet.  “Afterwards, we passed a resolution to support the expansion if all mitigation measures proposed by Fraser Surrey Docks are adhered to.”

 

There has been significant dialogue over the past few months about the potential expansion of the coal export facility at Fraser Surrey Docks. Opponents have raised both global concerns – related to climate change – as well as local health and environmental issues specific to the transportation and handling of coal. Proponents, on the other hand, have emphasized the job and economic benefits that an expanded facility could bring to the region and the province of BC.  

 

The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce believes this is not an “either/or” issue. We do need to recognize both the potential global and local impacts of increased coal handling and transportation – and the companies involved should commit to address them. As for local concerns, a formal program of open and transparent community engagement with stakeholders in New Westminster, Surrey and other parts of our region has been put in place that will focus on the factual identification, understanding and resolution of any potential impacts here at home.

 

From a business perspective, this means earning the “social license to operate” in our region as part of any potential expansion. If the kinds of measures identified above are formally agreed to, then The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce believes the companies involved deserve the chance to expand the facility and realize the potential economic benefits. 

 

 

Mrs. Christine Conway                                             Mrs. Cori Lynn Germiquet

President                                                                   Executive Director                          

 604-521-3778                                                           604-521-7781