Print Edition: July 1, 2015
UFV is one of many universities approached by Kinder Morgan with potential financial support in the last year.
Kinder Morgan has approached several municipal governments and post-secondary institutions with benefit deals, in the form of scholarships or other funding and public projects, should the company’s controversial Trans Mountain pipeline be approved.
“It’s just another way to provide legacies for those communities in which you operate,” Kinder Morgan spokesperson Lizette Parsons Bell said regarding a recent deal with KPU in an interview with the Surrey Leader.
According to a staff report from the May 19 Chilliwack council meeting, Kinder Morgan mentioned that while negotiating the $800,000 benefit deal with Chilliwack, they have also approached UFV.
“Details of the amount of funding to be offered to UFV has not yet been made public, but it is expected to be a substantial amount,” the staff report says.
UFV director of communications Dave Pinton says Kinder Morgan approached the university, but there is nothing currently in the works.
“We are not pursuing any partnerships, and we have not accepted any contributions or donations from Trans Mountain.” he said in an email.
The details of that initial conversation between UFV and Kinder Morgan have not been made public.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) has recently become one of the BC universities to accept donations from Kinder Morgan, finalising a deal last week for $300,000 over 20 years if the pipeline is approved. While KPU provost and academic vice president Salvador Fererra says accepting the deal does not imply the university’s support of the pipeline, some students disagree.
The Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) released a statement saying the donation is a form of support:
“KPU’s acceptance of this money amounts to a tacit endorsement of the pipeline project. Projects like this serve to accelerate climate change and cannot be allowed to move forward.”
Kinder Morgan has also approached Simon Fraser University and Thompson Rivers University. At the beginning of April, TRU accepted a deal for $500,000 over the next 20 years.
The Cascade will continue to cover this story in the coming weeks.