FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Julian: Federal government irresponsible to stick Burnaby with the costs of protests against the Trans Mountain pipeline
BURNABY – Today, NDP House Leader Peter Julian (New Westminster – Burnaby) called on Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to commit to repaying to the City of Burnaby the $1.8 million in policing costs resulting from protests of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project so far.
“The government can’t build an internationally-controversial project, and then stick Burnaby with the bill for the costs of policing the protests”, said Julian. “For a government that has tried to sell an image of itself as a responsible financial steward, the last thing it should be doing is dumping millions of dollars in costs on a municipality.”
The costs in dispute are the overtime accrued by RCMP officers while policing the Trans Mountain protests. The RCMP is operationally independent from the City of Burnaby, meaning Burnaby’s city council has no ability to direct operational decisions related to the protests. Former Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan objected to the city being made to pay the costs, and current Mayor Mike Hurley has raised the issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directly.
“With the government’s approval of the expansion project, it’s clear that protests to that federal government decision will continue,” said Julian. “Instead of causing fiscal uncertainty for the city and consequently endangering public services, the federal government should do the right thing, and commit to paying all past and future overtime expenses related to the Trans Mountain protests.”
Peter’s letter to the federal Public Safety Minister is available here.
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