Kinder Morgan can expect a large presence and some organized opposition at local public meetings this month to discuss the twinning of its Trans Mountain oil sands pipeline through Chilliwack.
The company planned a meeting for Nov. 27, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Best Western to discuss the proposed pipeline project.
Already, local protesters have held events in front of local MLAs offices and city hall on Oct. 27. They also gathered in front of Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Mark Strahl's office on Halloween.
Members of local anti-pipeline group PIPE UP even went to the first Kinder Morgan information meeting sessions in Vancouver on last Tuesday.
In a press release, PIPE UP said advocates would be set up outside the local meeting to provide "a balanced picture of the risks associated with the project."
Kinder Morgan's sessions so far have been criticized as focus group-style meetings to promote and gauge public opinion.
Meanwhile, local anti-oil sands activists have taken a new approach against the company. PIPE UP spokesperson Michael Hale points to a U.S. lawsuit that alleges the cancer death of a 10-year-old boy in Nevada is directly connected to a Kinder Morgan pipeline leak in a school yard.
The pipeline the company is proposing to twin runs underneath the schoolyard at Watson elementary in Chilliwack.
"We have solid evidence that the Kinder Morgan pipeline leaked into the school at E.C. Best," attorney and environmental immunologist Alan Levin said in a Nevada NBC news story last week.
Levin said that the Kinder Morgan pipeline transported a type of jet fuel, samples of which his legal team claims to have found in the school soil and in tissues of the dead boy's body.
"Our hearts go out to the families of Fallon, Nevada, who have lost their children to cancer," Hale said in a press release. "This lawsuit against Kinder Morgan hasn't been decided. However, Kinder Morgan's track record in the U.S. reveals a number of worrisome convictions against the company."
A spokesperson for Kinder-Morgan told NBC that state and federal investigators ruled out the company's pipeline as the cause of any health problems in Fallon.
Hale also pointed to a $7.5 million wrongful death verdict against Kinder Morgan from October 2011. A jury agreed the company was negligent in its distribution of benzene-containing gasoline, which caused an employee to develop a fatal disease.
Kinder Morgan's upcoming local meetings in the Fraser Valley include:
? Langley - Nov. 22, 5 to 8 p.m. Walnut Grove secondary school (8919 Walnut Grove Dr.)
? Chilliwack - Nov. 27, 5 to 8 p.m. Best Western Rainbow Country Inn (43791 Industrial Way)
? Hope - Nov. 28, 5 to 8 p.m. C. E. Barry intermediate school (444 Queen St.)
? Abbotsford - Nov. 29, 5 to 8 p.m. Strai-ton Community Hall (4698 Upper Sumas Mountain Rd.)