Milobar grills Enviro Min Heyman on timing of Kinder Morgan announcement

By James Peters
February 20, 2018 - 3:10pm

VICTORIA — For a third day, Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar has pressed Environment Minister George Heyman in the BC Legislature, demanding details on the timing of his announcement of oil spill response regulations related to the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

On January 30, Heyman announced a ban on increased bitumen shipments off the BC coast until the government is ensured adequate spill protocols are in place.

Milobar, who serves as the BC Liberal government's environment critic, says ahead of that announcement, Kinder Morgan lost $800 million in stock value.

He says anyone who would have known about the pipeline announcement could have profited greatly from "shorting" Kinder Morgan stock.

Milobar's focus was on a group of activists and environmental advocates who met with Heyman on Bowen Island shortly after the announcement was made.

"The timing of the minister's disclosure of his market-sensitive announcement is critically important," said Milobar in today's question period. "Last Wednesday in this house, the minister was very clear: he had informed multiple groups prior to making the information public. On what day and at what time did the minister inform individuals and the Bowen Island group of the details of his forthcoming announcement?"

Heyman responded by saying his calendar is public, and adding he spoke with a number of different people and groups before the announcement was made.

"Governments, including the Government of Alberta, including the federal Government of Canada and a number of ministries, including industry, including First Nations, and yes, including environmental stakeholders, all of whom have an interest in this issue, were given information in broad brushstrokes about all of the five points of the proposal to consult with British Columbians about regulations to do with spill control."

Heyman noted the government did nothing wrong in its communication.

But Milobar says the fact that organizations such as the Sierra Group issued news releases moments after Heyman's January announcement suggest they may have had detailed knowledge of what the government was about to do.

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