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Pipeline to hurt home sales: poll

Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart -
Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart
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The proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline would have a significant effect on people trying to sell their properties along the route.

That's according to a new poll commissioned by Burnaby-Douglas New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart.

The results found a total 68 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents surveyed said a nearby oil pipeline would negatively affect their decision to buy a property.

Of that, 45 per cent would not consider buying a home or property near a pipeline at all while an additional 23 per cent said a pipeline "would strongly and negatively impact their decision to buy."

Similar levels of combined negative responses were evident in other regions of B.C. On Vancouver Island, 70 per cent would have strong reservations or would not buy, in the Southern Interior it was 67 per cent and in Northern B.C. it was 60 per cent.

"The top complaint from people in my riding about a new Kinder Morgan pipeline is the negative impact this proposed project is already having on their ability to sell their homes,” said Stewart.

“Some homeowners living along the proposed pipeline route tell me they cannot sell their homes now or are not getting reasonable offers. I commissioned this poll to determine the extent to which the problem is widespread."

Stewart said the poll results reinforce what he has already heard from property owners along the proposed pipeline routes.

"Kinder Morgan needs to answer the questions that property owners have and [the poll] highlights why residents need to get involved,” said Stewart.

Kinder Morgan is proposing to expand capacity of the pipeline, which runs between Edmonton and Burnaby, from the current 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 890,000 bpd to increase exports of oil sands crude to overseas markets.

It plans to twin the pipeline along the existing right-of-way but has proposed alternative routes in urban areas, such as Burnaby, where development over the years would impede the project's construction.

The survey was conducted online last month among 803 randomly selected B.C. residents who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

After the National Energy Board cancelled local information sessions on how people can participate in its pipeline approval process, choosing to hold them online instead, Stewart launched his own information program at http://letbcdecide.ca/.

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