Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says the risk of an oil spill on the B.C. coast from a proposed pipeline expansion should be a national concern.
Helps made the remarks Monday at a public meeting on the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Kinder Morgan's plan to expand an oil pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby has received conditional approval from the National Energy Board.
A ministerial panel has been holding hearings to document any concerns missed by the NEB process.
Helps told the panel that tourists from around the globe come to Canada's West Coast to see its coastline. An increase in tanker traffic from an expanded pipeline would pose an unacceptable risk, she said.
"If there is an oil spill along the shores of British Columbia. It is not in the national public interest to have oil up and down the coast of this pristine province," she said.
Spill could harm tourism: mayor
Kinder Morgan wants to triple the capacity of its existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which carries diluted bitumen from oilsands near Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., for export.
The expansion would bring capacity to 890,000 barrels a day and increase tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet seven-fold.
Victoria is the final stop for the panel, after which it will provide a report on concerns raised to the Minister of Natural Resources
The federal government is expected to make a final decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion by the end of the year.
Other leaders have taken issue with the panel itself, saying the hearings were rushed with little to no notice.
But Trevor McLeod with the Canada West Foundation says he believes the Minister of Natural Resources will consider the panel's report.
"I really do believe that Minister Carr is someone who believes deeply in the process, and the integrity of the process," McLeod said.
With files from CP