Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
Oral Presentation Session
The City of Burnaby, has made headlines in recent years for taking Kinder Morgan to the Supreme Court of Canada for infringement of municipal bylaws in the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, a case they lost; and, more recently, for seeking permission from the province of British Columbia to sue oil companies. Burnaby sells itself as the "City of Parks" but the absurdly named "Parkland" refinery (formerly Chevron), is arguably not what the city had in mind. Superimposed on the Coast Salish territories of Tsleil-Waututh Nation (who also vocally oppose pipeline expansion), the refinery is a source of constant aggravation for local residents who are consistently misinformed about activities at Parkland that bring increased traffic, noise-pollution, air pollution and the recent construction of a 200 car parking lot for employees at the edge of a large park and residential street. Part political ecology, part excavation of personal and industrial layers in this settler-colonial landscape, this paper provides an account of growing up on the edge of a refinery that calls itself a park and its diverse opposition. The Crabtown of the title refers both to the increased affective tensions in the neighborhood as the refinery threatens local residents' enjoyment and profit in property and a squatters settlement with "obscure origins" that occupied the Parkland site until 1957.