Coun. Jason Lum was the only city councillor to vote against the mutual benefit agreement MOU with Kinder Morgan. Now since the federal bailout, he wonders what will become of the Chilliwack MBA project, a bridge over the Vedder River. (Progress file)

Bailout may mean Chilliwack gets a say in pipeline routing, says Lum

Councillor wants to know how bailout will affect the mutual benefit agreement Chilliwack signed

He wants to be optimistic.

Chilliwack city councillor Jason Lum says if Canadian tax dollars must be used by the federal government to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, maybe City of Chilliwack’s pressing concerns about protecting its drinking water will finally be heard.

“The bailout wasn’t unexpected news,” said Lum about the $4.5 billion deal to purchase the TM pipeline and KM assets. “Although I was not privy to how the negotiations went, I hope it’s not a Hail Mary to rescue a project that was poorly planned out, and now rests with the federal government and, ultimately, public money to fix.”

He has questions, like how will the bailout affect the mutual benefit agreement MOU signed by a majority of council for a pedestrian/cycling bridge over the Vedder River?

Lum was the only city councillor to vote against the mutual benefit agreement.

The key uncertainty remaining for Lum is how to ensure the pipeline will re-routed away from the Sardis-Vedder aquifer.

“That uncertainty remains no matter who the owner is,” Lum said.

But he still wants to maintain a glass-half-full perspective.

“I’d like to think we will have more of a say now, regarding the detailed routing of the pipeline,” Lum said. “The optimist in me says maybe the feds will do a better job of listening to the very real concerns citizens of Chilliwack may have.”


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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