Pipeline company and farmer butt heads over land access


A gas pipeline that runs diagonally across Chilliwack farmland needs to be replaced for safety reasons, but the landholder and the pipeline owner are at odds over how it will go ahead.

Retired Chilliwack farmer Gord Mitchell wants oil and gas company Spectra Energy to sign an agreement before it comes back onto his land.

But the Houston, Texas-based company said it has no intentions of renegotiating rights of access to the pipeline–rights, it says, it already has.

The standoff originates from a 2011 incident in which the gas company accessed Mitchell’s property in rainy weather. He says the work damaged the soil and has decimated his crops every year since.

“Our purpose in opposing them now is we want a very comprehsnive soil-handling contract so that if they’re not doing it properly, we can stop them,” Mitchell said in an interview with Stephen Quinn on CBC Radio One’s On the Coast.

In an interview with CBC News, Spectra Energy said it compensated Mitchell with $68,000 for the loss of his crops. But the farmer said the payment amounted to only a fraction of the financial loss he suffered at the time, and did not account for future losses caused by the damage.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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