Nenshi slams Montreal mayor for opposition to Energy East pipeline

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has joined a growing number of politicians slamming Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre after he vowed Thursday to fight the Energy East pipeline project, which would carry bitumen from the Alberta oilsands to a refinery in New Brunswick.

See Full Article

Coderre said the Montreal Metropolitan Community, which represents 82 municipalities, decided unanimously to fight the project because the economic benefits for Quebec would be small compared to the possible clean-up costs of a spill.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about our territory,” he said.

Nenshi told CTV’s Power Play that Coderre is simply wrong about a project, which he says has economic, safety and environmental benefits.

“This is a pipeline that already goes to Montreal,” Nenshi said. “This is a project to modernize it, to bring it up to even better standards.”

Nenshi said the alternative is to ship more oil by rail, “and Quebec knows the dangers of oil by rail, tragically,” referring to the 2013 Lac-Megantic rail disaster that killed 47 people.

Nenshi also pointed out that Energy East is preferable because “when you fill up your tank, that’s not Canadian energy filling up your tank because of the lack of pipeline capacity.”

“That’s oil that comes from Saudi Arabia or Venezuela. It comes by freighter. The freighter has come up the St. Lawrence Seaway,” he said, referring to the shipping route that passes by Montreal.

The pipeline is supported by all three Alberta party leaders: NDP Premier Rachel Notley, PC Party interim leader Ric McIver and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, who was particularly angry Thursday.

"While Mr. Coderre dumps a billion litres of raw sewage directly into his waterways and benefits from billions in equalization payments, his opposition to the Energy East pipeline is nothing short of hypocritical," Jean said, according to a statement.

"Montreal buys millions of barrels of foreign oil from dictatorships, but it is rejecting oil from their friends in Confederation. It's disgraceful!” Jean’s statement went on.

Jean said the project “will benefit all of Canada and will improve our GDP by $55 billion.”

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall called it a “sad day for our country,” and made similar arguments about the safety of the project and Quebec’s willingness to spite western provinces.

“The constituents of Quebec municipalities will benefit to the tune of $10 billion in equalization payments this year,” Wall wrote on his Facebook wall. “For the better part of the last decade the western Canadian energy sector and western Canadian taxpayers have supported a great portion of these transfer payments as well as the Canadian economy.”

“Is it too much to expect that these Quebec municipal leaders would respond to this reality with generous support for a pipeline that supports the very sector that has supported them?” Wall went on.

Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose told reporters in Winnipeg Wednesday that she wants Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Liberal Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to speak out in favour of the project, which would also run through Ontario.

“(Trudeau) seems to have a lot of influence with Kathleen Wynne and she is, right now, one of the hold-ups on the Energy East pipeline,” Ambrose said. “So can he use his influence to please help us with Energy East?”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not said whether he supports Energy East, insisting that a better environmental review process is needed before he can commit to pipeline projects.

However, the Liberal party’s campaign co-chair Dan Gagnier stepped down late in last year’s election campaign after it was revealed he was advising TransCanada on how to lobby the new government on Energy East.

A spokesperson from Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said Thursday that “the Government of Canada welcomes the views of municipal leaders regarding the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the National Energy Board pipeline hearing process.”

The minister’s office added that, “the government recognizes the importance of new infrastructure development but has also been clear that any development must occur in an environmentally sustainable manner.”

“We are committed to restoring credibility to environmental assessments and the NEB; ensuring decisions are based on science, facts and evidence and work in partnership and consultation with Indigenous Peoples,” the statement went on.

TransCanada spokesman Jonathan Abecass said the company “will continue to listen to other elected leaders in Quebec and stakeholders across the province as we take their concerns and input seriously.”

TransCanada filed an amended application to the National Energy Board in December that included some 700 changes to deal with environmental concerns.

It also said it wouldn't build an oil export terminal in Quebec, after hearing widespread opposition to that part of the proposal.

The proposed pipeline would carry up to 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Alberta to the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, N.B., using an existing pipeline to Montreal and a new pipeline east from there.

The Quebec government has not come out against the project, but has urged the company to demonstrate economic benefits for the province.

Greenpeace is among the environmental groups applauding Coderre's announcement.

With files from The Canadian Press



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Trump SoHo to shed 'Trump' amid reports of sagging business

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The Trump SoHo hotel is dropping the name it shares with the U.S. president. The Trump Organization said Wednesday that it is ending its licensing deal with the New York hotel amid reports that the property has struggled to attract business. Source
  • Wellsite pipeline leak spills 560 barrels of oil into northern Alberta swamp

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - The Alberta Energy Regulator says a pipeline owned by Calgary-based Mount Bastion Oil & Gas Corp. has leaked about 560 barrels of an oil and water mixture at a northern Alberta wellsite. AER spokesman Jordan Fitzgerald says the regulator has staff supervising cleanup by the company at the site about 65 kilometres northwest of Red Earth Creek, which is about 420 kilometres north of Edmonton. Source
  • Wellsite pipeline leak spills 560 barrels of oil emulsion into Alberta swamp

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - The Alberta Energy Regulator says a pipeline owned by Calgary-based Mount Bastion Oil & Gas Corp. has leaked about 560 barrels of an oil and water mixture at a northern Alberta wellsite. AER spokesman Jordan Fitzgerald says the regulator has staff supervising cleanup by the company at the site about 65 kilometres northwest of Red Earth Creek, which is about 420 kilometres north of Edmonton. Source
  • Uber customers torn between scandals and service

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Uber has managed to hold the title of world's largest ride-hailing service despite its seemingly endless string of scandals. Its latest misbehaviour involving a data breach coverup revealed this week could be the impetus for people to ride elsewhere -- or keep looking the other way. Source
  • Freedom Mobile announces iPhone X dates, provides update on network rollout

    Economic CBC News
    Freedom Mobile will begin taking orders for the Apple iPhone X and iPhone 8 models starting Friday, with the smartphones in its stores on Dec. 8. While that's more than a month after Canada's three national wireless carriers began selling the iPhone X, it will be the first time Freedom Mobile has a full roster of Apple smartphones to offer its customers. Source
  • Highlights of sweeping new Ontario labour laws, including a minimum wage boost

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario's Liberal government passed a host of changes to labour laws Wednesday. Here are some highlights of the legislation, including the centrepiece minimum wage increase: -- Minimum wage rises from $11.60 an hour to $14 on Jan. Source
  • Canadian grocers expand online services after Amazon acquires Whole Foods chain

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Metro Inc. is looking to expand its online grocery offerings to Ontario next year, making it the latest Canadian retailer to ramp up its e-commerce options in the face of potential competition from Amazon. Source
  • Unknown number of Canadians may be caught up in Uber data breach

    Economic CBC News
    Canada's federal privacy commissioner says Uber Technologies Inc. can't confirm how many Canadians may be affected by an October 2016 security breach that the riding-hailing firm initially tried to cover up. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada told CBC News it has reached out to the company to ask for more information about the breach. Source
  • Iran-based hacker charged with trying to extort HBO

    Economic CBC News
    An Iran-based hacker plotted to extort HBO out of $6 million US by threatening to release stolen episodes and scripts of hit shows, such as Game of Thrones, at one point taunting the network with a twist on a catch phrase form that series: "Winter is coming. Source
  • HBC says Competition Bureau's mattress pricing probe has cost it $425K US

    Economic CBC News
    Hudson's Bay Co. says it has spent more than $425,000 US to date to comply with demands for documents from Canada's competition watchdog as it investigates alleged deceptive pricing practices. The retailer says in a filing with the Competition Tribunal that it has invested more than 6,500 person-hours to produce 37,000 documents in response to the Competition Bureau's complaint made last February. Source