President's statement on TransMountain Expansion Project and support for a fire hall on Burnaby mountain

April 08, 2021

SFU has consistently raised concerns over the TransMountain Expansion Project specific to the tank farm and the risk it poses to our community of students, staff and faculty and UniverCity residents. Despite those concerns, the project was approved and continues to move ahead.

In my role as the new president of SFU I would like to reiterate that the University remains opposed to anything that increases the risk to our community. There are significant safety concerns about risk of fire, release of toxic emissions and potential blockage of the only evacuation route from SFU’s Burnaby campus in event of a fire and/or tank explosion at the tank farm. 

When the tank farm expansion is complete, tanks will be within two hundred meters of the Gaglardi Way/Burnaby Mountain Parkway intersection, which is the only vehicle emergency access and egress route for the SFU Burnaby campus. 

A new fire hall on top of Burnaby Mountain is a key component to protecting people at SFU and UniverCity. We strongly support the Burnaby Fire Department’s request to move this work forward and are working with the City of Burnaby on possible fire hall locations. In any emergency evacuation of the Burnaby campus, including an emergency fire related to the tank farm, SFU would rely on the Burnaby Fire Department along with other emergency responders to ensure the safety of our community.

It is imperative that our federal and local governments protect our community from any approved government initiatives that may impact safety.  We continue to urge them to implement all safety measures to ensure our community is protected with the tank farm expansion currently underway.