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

  • Canadian agriculture ministers briefed on trade-war contingency plan

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay emphasized the importance of the provinces working together as an escalating trade war with the United States puts some farmers on edge. The minister said his provincial and territorial counterparts discussed trade negotiations and the contingency plan during their conference that wrapped up Friday in Vancouver. Source
  • Teamsters members at CP Rail ratify new contract

    Economic CBC News
    Unionized conductors and locomotive engineers at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. have voted in favour of a new four-year collective agreement. Members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), which represents about 3,000 workers at CP, voted 64.7 per cent to ratify the new contract. Source
  • Pipeline protesters say they're willing to defy eviction notice

    Economic CTV News
    BURNABY, B.C. - Protesters at an anti-pipeline camp in Burnaby, B.C., say they are ready to defy an eviction notice handed out from the city. The City of Burnaby issued a 72-hour notice to those occupying "Camp Cloud" on Wednesday, but protesters say in a news release that isn't enough time to comply with concerns raised over safety. Source
  • Japan resumes Canadian wheat imports after suspension

    Economic CBC News
    Ottawa says Japan has ended its temporary suspension of Canadian wheat imports. Japan had halted shipments after some unauthorized genetically modified wheat was found in southern Alberta. Ottawa says the decision marks an end to all international trade actions arising from the discovery on June 14. Source
  • Ottawa says Japan has resumed Canadian wheat imports after temporary suspension

    Economic CTV News
    Ottawa says Japan has ended its temporary suspension of Canadian wheat imports. Japan had halted shipments after some unauthorized genetically modified wheat was found in southern Alberta. Ottawa says the decision marks an end to all international trade actions arising from the discovery on June 14. Source
  • 'This is madness': Auto industry warns U.S. lawmakers of dire tariff consequences

    Economic CBC News
    The world's automotive industry gathered in Washington with uncharacteristic unity, to deliver a singular message to American policymakers: If you start a trade war with tariffs on cars, you'll shoot yourself in the foot. The issue that has been gaining steam for weeks came to a head Thursday as dozens of representatives from the industry around the world deliver their remarks at a hearing before the U.S. Source
  • Loonie moves up as inflation ticks higher, TSX ends lower along with U.S. markets

    Economic CTV News
    Stock indexes in Canada and the U.S. closed down Friday on geopolitical tensions, while the loonie surged higher after Statistics Canada said the inflation rate jumped in June. Data from June showed the country's annual inflation rate rose to 2.5 per cent for the month, up from a 2.2 per cent reading in May to hit its highest mark in more than six years. Source
  • Loonie moves up as inflation ticks higher, TSX moves lower at late-morning

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The loonie surged higher after Statistics Canada reported the annual inflation rate in June hit its highest mark in more than six years, while Canada's main stock index lost ground. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.16 cents US, up from an average value of 75.44 cents US on Thursday. Source
  • Aimia shares surge after it announced Aeroplan program changes in 2020

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Aeroplan's parent company received its biggest boost since announcing a change in CEO in April after its shares surged more than eight per cent Friday after it unveiled changes to the loyalty program once its exclusive partnership with Air Canada ends in 2020. Source
  • Boost to Canada Child Benefit comes into effect

    Economic CTV News
    If you are eligible for the Canada Child Benefit program, your monthly payment could soon be increasing. Effective Friday, the federal tax break is being indexed to inflation, which means an increase to keep up with the growing cost of living. Source