10/11/2012 12:11 EDT | Updated 12/11/2012 05:12 EST

Burnaby residents oppose pipeline expansion

Nearly 300 people gathered in Burnaby on Wednesday night to voice their opposition to a proposal to expand the oil pipeline running under the community.

Kinder Morgan has said it would like to spend $5 billion to twin the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which has been carrying oil from Alberta to a storage facility and terminal on Burnaby Mountain since the 50s.

The project would also include the expansion of the Westridge Marine Terminal in Vancouver to allow larger tanker ships to transport the oil to Asia.

But Burnaby Mayor Derrick Corrigan told the crowd his council doesn't support any kind of expansion because there's nothing in it but risk for the community.

"Citizens across my community are opposed. I mean there just is not any support for this line coming through my community," said Corrigan.

NDP MP Kennedy Stewart warned if the pipeline expansion goes ahead, some residents will find out Kinder Morgan has right of way through their property.

2007 spill remembered

One resident who spoke at the meeting was Mary Hatch, whose Burnaby home was coated in oil when a construction crew punctured the pipeline in 2007 releasing more than 250,000 litres of crude oil.

About 70,000 litres flowed into Burrard Inlet, sparking a $15-million cleanup. Two contractors and Trans Mountain Pipeline, the company that owns the pipeline, eventually pleaded guilty to 21 charges linked to the spill, in 2011.

The proposed expansion would nearly triple the capacity for the pipeline, which currently moves about 300,000 barrels a day of various oil products.

Kinder Morgan has yet to apply to the National Energy Board for project approval, and Corrigan said he'd prefer the company left the pipeline just as it is.

"No one is opposed to the fact that there's an existing line. What we do object to is having oil go through to go on tankers that are going to be distributing this oil all over the world because we think it imposes an unnecessary danger on our coast line and on our environment."

No representatives from the company were invited to the meeting.