170131_Wayne Van Velzen

Wayne is a past manager with BC Parks at Mount Robson Provincial Park. He has first-hand experience with a large Trans Mountain construction project — the award-winning Anchor Loop pipeline expansion that was constructed through Mount Robson Park and Jasper National Park.

We connected with Wayne to learn more about his experience with the past Anchor Loop expansion project and why he’s supportive of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

Tell us about your experience with Trans Mountain’s approach to pipeline construction.  

I was the on-site manager responsible for ensuring the interests of BC Parks and the public shareholders over the time Trans Mountain did the planning, installation and restoration works within Mount Robson Park for the TMX – Anchor Loop Project. I felt completely confident that Trans Mountain was committed to doing the very best possible job on the right-of-way as well as areas adjacent. That was demonstrated when the company received an Emerald Award for environmental excellence for Anchor Loop. Trans Mountain is a company I trust and I feel is committed to excellence in all areas, particularly safety. My experience is that Trans Mountain not only meets standards, it strives to exceed them in as many cases as possible.

How do you think natural resources should be developed in Canada?  

I am in favour of responsible resource development. There needs to be a strong commitment from resource companies to ensuring environmental sustainability. We can have both economic success and environmental health, it just takes drive and commitment, which I believe Trans Mountain has.

Why is the Trans Mountain Expansion Project important to you?   

We are a vast nation that will require a great deal of time to achieve a high degree of ‘green’ energy sources. I feel it is important that we, as a nation, benefit as much as possible from our resources. British Columbians, particularly in the Lower Mainland, need to recognize that a 63-year-old pipeline system is not sufficient to serve Canada’s needs. Especially when the expanded pipeline system includes thicker pipe sections in sensitive areas, more shutoff valves, emergency response upgrades and a more extensive marine escort system.

I think people who oppose the Project should take the time to better understand the benefits such as greater energy security that would come from the expansion. If those in opposition had to go without oil products for a length of time, they would become proponents of the Project in very short order. As you drive to your next protest, consider what going without gasoline and other oil products might mean to your lifestyle.