Ten days after 71-year-old B.C. grandmother Lesslie Askin photographed Kinder Morgan’s oil storage tanks on Burnaby Mountain, in preparation for an upcoming National Energy Board presentation, she had a visit from the RCMP’s national security division.
Askin was concerned about the age and reliability of the storage tanks, part of the company’s $5.4-billion pipeline expansion proposal. The two RCMP officers thought they were investigating a possible terror threat to the pipeline.
Askin said she was taking pictures “in order to show the NEB the condition of these tanks, which is the focus of my opposition—these tanks are over 60 years old. To bring that fact home, to me, a picture is worth a thousand words.” The retired systems analyst says she never trespassed on Kinder Morgan property, and questions how effective the RCMP’s response would have been if she really had been a threat.
“What kind of a security risk am I if it takes 10 days for them to deal with this? So the question is: what were they doing?” she asked CBC. “I question whether Kinder Morgan has more access to the RCMP than you or I do.”