Film project highlights agricultural concerns about pipeline
Submitted. Will the Fraser Valley be “directly affected” by oil-export pipelines? Do we put at risk highly valuable Fraser Valley farmland and salmon habitat by allowing pipeline development? That is the question that will be explored at an upcoming screening of the film “Directly Affected,” which tells the story of the people and places impacted by the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline proposal.
“According to the FVRD, the estimated total value of Fraser Valley agriculture is more than $2.5 billion.
The potential costs of aquifer or soil contamination in the event of an oil spill would be catastrophic and should be discussed in Abbotsford before we allow another pipeline to be built through the city,” said
Lynn Perrin, a member of the PIPE UP Network, co-host of the event.
The Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline proposal would nearly triple the capacity of the current pipeline system to transport diluted bitumen from Edmonton to Burnaby for export. The National Energy Board review process for the project has been heavily criticized for its limited public participation. Last week in the second round of information requests, the City of Abbotsford found that 16 of their questions had been inadequately answered by Kinder Morgan including questions about the emergency response plan.
In light of concerns about the National Energy Board process, Vancouver filmmaker Zack Embree and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation teamed up to produce “Directly Affected,” to give a voice to the people whose concerns were left out of the National Energy Board consultation. The filmmakers heard a number of concerns about the project from First Nations representatives, academics, and landowners, even a question from one farmer about whether he would be able to drive a tractor over his land during the haying season due to a proposed Kinder Morgan right-of-way.
The film challenges notions around the supposed economic and societal benefits of the project, and compares the potential costs. It features a number of Fraser Valley residents including Abbotsford resident, John Vissers. Vissers will be moderating the screening of the film on Wednesday March 11 at UFV Abbotsford, 33844 King Road, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will include an expert panel including Chief Dalton Silver of the Sumas First Nation, film director Zack Embree, UFV agriculture expert Lisa Powell, Dr. former FVRD Director Dr. Bill MacGregor, Lynn Perrin of the PIPE UP Network and Raincoast Conservation Foundation biologist Misty MacDuffee.
As a result of Bill C-38 and a dramatically weakened Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, applicants for public participation in the National Energy Board (NEB) review of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion proposal had to prove they were either “directly affected” or had relevant knowledge or expertise. This qualification, coupled with a seemingly intentionally onerous online application process, left many individuals and grassroots groups excluded from sharing their opinions within the review process. Directly Affected was our response to the frustration felt by communities across BC who want to have their voices heard.
Raincoast has teamed up with two Vancouver film-makers, Zach Embree and Devyn Brugge, to produce a short documentary profiling those excluded from the NEB process. From First Nations to Burnaby homeowners and Chilliwack fishermen to Gulf Islands residents the film will tell how we are all directly affected.
In a funding competition with over 70 projects, Directly Affected started at number one on voting day, supported by communities who wanted their story told. View the original Directly Affected Pitch Video on Storyhive.