“Fundamentally wrong to put people at this sort of risk”

Westridge resident shares her experience with the Trans Mountain 2007 oil spill

On July 24, 2007, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline ruptured, spilling more than 200,000 litres of heavy crude in the Westridge neighbourhood of Burnaby, B.C.

SFU business professor Karen Ruckman’s family home was just down the street. She shares their experience with the spill:

“It’s affected us on a number of different levels, in terms of how we feel about our government putting us at risk, but also in terms of lingering doubts about our own health, in particular for my son, who is now about to turn 11 years old this summer… I was 34 weeks pregnant with him.”

Deeper reading:
NEB letter of comment, Karen Ruckman
The day oil rained down on Burnaby, Burnaby Now

4 Responses to ““Fundamentally wrong to put people at this sort of risk””

  1. Paul Plimley says:

    Dear Karen,

    Your testimony is both moving and disturbing. I have written dozens of emails to our BC NDP and Federal Liberals about the fallacy and destructive implementation of the trans mountain pipeline. And I’ve donated on many occasions to both Dogwood and Council of Canadians to put a stop to a social and environmental disaster that comes with pipelines and oil tankers/rail delivery. I’ve visited David Eby’s office this year and called to speak with John Horgan’s office as well as Joyce Murray’s. The message is the same: the tar sands of Alberta are a toxic mess – and worsened by the extra chemicals added to more easily transport the sludge along pipes. To think that we can potentially destroy environments and brutally put innocent citizens in harms way is insanely unacceptable. Thank you for sharing your story with other Canadians. At this point I will never vote for either the Liberals or Conservatives again. I’m now going to the Green Party, where Elizabeth May walked the walked by standing up for Canadians when she was arrested at a pipeline protest earlier this year. We all need to ditch this useless project and get serious about developing wind and solar power. I trust you are neither lying or exaggerating your experiences with the oil fumes you recounted in the video. Canadians need to wake up NOW or suffer the consequences in the near future! Once again, I thank you and MANY Canadians are on your side! Let us not go gentle into that good night!
    Sincerely,
    Paul Plimley

  2. Marianne Gallant says:

    I get ticked off every time is see the ‘keepCanadaworking’ ad on tv. It is so full of lies and misinformation. Saying that we no longer have to rely solely on the US for selling the oil is absolute nonsense. Why would be export raw stuff to China and the US, and then have to import the refined product? Like, is that not relying on the US or China to refine the stuff. And we are not even talking about the huge increase of our carbon footprint. How can they justify shipping the raw stuff by tanker to China and then getting the refined stuff shipped back. Is that optimizing our climate change commitment? Don’t think so. If they are truthful in saying that taking this toxic stuff out of the ground is good for our economy and keeping Canadians working, then at least re-open all the BC refineries that have been shut down over the years and let us profit of the stuff instead of having other countries profiting and BC still has to import all the gasoline and jet fuel from outside of the country. Where is the benefit for BC? There is none, just the risks.

  3. Terry Lewis says:

    These whole tar sands projects are insane! We burn natural gas to heat the earth to try and make the earth give up this toxic tar so we can add more toxic chemicals to it so it can move through pipes as well as ships to have others refine this junk. And what is left behind after this whole process is a toxic mess and huge carbon emissions.
    Nature tried to cover this stuff up, then stupid man comes along to open up this big Pandora’s box and release it’s harmful effects upon all the earth’s creatures. Yes this is insanity!!

    Why for now can’t we just use the natural gas in our vehicles instead as an interim step towards abandoning the burning of fossil fuels? It is cleaner burning, releases minimal SOx, NOx, mercury and particulate emissions.
    Doesn’t this make more sense?

  4. Trudy Thoegeirson says:

    These projects are being sold as ‘jobs-keep Canada working’ Most will last a couple of years .Then what do we do? Find another project which damages the environment for jobs again? Will we keep doing this until there is nothing left and then realize that perhaps we should have done something different. We could subsidize thousands of homes to install solar panels with the money wasted on these projects.

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