Letter: A fence in Burrard Inlet?

The Editor, I am an avid kayaker and have enjoyed kayaking in Burrard Inlet for over 40 years.

The Editor,

I am an avid kayaker and have enjoyed kayaking in Burrard Inlet for over 40 years. The inlet truly is a treasure and the perfect destination for a day paddle.

On the weekend of Feb. 10, my husband and I went for our first paddle of the year and, within minutes of launching from Barnet Marine Park in Burnaby, we were confronted by the expansive fence recently erected around the Kinder Morgan terminal.

We were aware of the existence of the fence but, as we approached, we were somewhat alarmed by the extent of the fencing. The fence forced us out into the inlet and then stretched as far as the eye could see.

This was no ordinary fence as it was topped with coils of vicious-looking razor-wire — the same type of razor-wire used in prisons. We stopped for a moment, trying to grasp the reality of what was happening to the public waterway that we had enjoyed paddling through countless times.

Within seconds, a small vessel approached us from the inside of the fence. No words were exchanged, it just sat there, its occupants watching us. We moved along and it followed alongside us. We stopped, the vessel stopped. As we continued along the length of the fence, a man emerged from the vessel and, with a zoom lens, started photographing us.

We continued toward our destination as we had planned on stopping and picnicking further down the inlet. The vessel continued to shadow us and we were told repeatedly through the use of a megaphone to “move away from the fence.” We were travelling at least 15 to 20 feet away from the fence and didn’t want to move further out with larger vessel traffic in the inlet.

We grew increasingly uncomfortable with the continual harassment and ultimately turned back. We are deeply distressed by what we experienced. We were two kayakers in our 60s out to enjoy a relaxing paddle in public waters but were followed, photographed and repeatedly yelled at with a megaphone.

If this is how local residents are treated by Kinder Morgan now, how can we expect to be treated when a spill or explosion at the tank farm occurs?

Nancy H. Furness,
Port Coquitlam

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