On August 26th, the cover story of the Abbotsford News shouted the hard line stance of Councillor Patricia Ross demanding guarantees before pipeline construction could begin (the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline).
Sorry Patricia, but you have no say in that decision at all.
Worse…now that you have taken the position of an ultimatum you have undermined the City of Abbotsford’s ability to work with Kinder Morgan for the best interests of our community.
You see, the Federal Government has jurisdiction over pipelines. When they approve the pipeline, it will be built whether we want it or not. Patricia should know this…and perhaps she does.
It has been a long time since she poached the fight over SE2 and took her place as the Queen of the Environment here in Abbotsford. In the intervening decade, she has failed to deliver any meaningful environmental initiatives. I could take up a lot of your time listing her missed opportunities, but the honest truth is I really don’t care what Councillor Ross has to say about the environment.
What I do care about is Abbotsford.
As a City, we need to be able to sit down at the table with a company like Kinder Morgan, and be taken seriously. When a senior Councillor takes a position from which there is no retreat, we lose all our leverage and credibility.
Let me explain further.
It is in Kinder Morgan’s best interest to enter into a “win-win” situation with the City of Abbotsford. Patricia is removing that possibility by saying it is “our way or the highway”. There is now no incentive for Kinder Morgan to work with us. Rather, they can just get their approvals from the Feds and move forward with relatively little consultation with Abbotsford.
I would like to suggest that Abbotsford has had a history of bad negotiators. We make bad deals at every turn. I also suggest that we now have a Mayor who has experience negotiating with sizable companies, and expertise on Council to advise him along the way.
Getting on the front page of the local newspaper by “going rogue” is a political ploy that we can no longer afford.
I hope Kinder Morgan reads this column and understands that Patricia Ross’ opinion is her own and it does not represent the way all of Abbotsford cares to do business.