Weakness of Federal Pipeline Review Process Forces Ontario to Act
Ottawa, ON – Ecology Ottawa welcomes the recent decision by the Ontario government to conduct a public consultation on the proposed Energy East pipeline. The decision, announced this morning in Ottawa at a press conference by Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli and Ottawa MPP John Fraser, confirms that Ontario will subject the pipeline to a public review process.
“The Harper Government has undermined the legitimacy of the National Energy Board by shutting people out of the process and trashing environmental protections,” said Graham Saul, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. “Under the circumstances, Ontario needs to work harder to ensure that people’s concerns are heard, and today’s announcement is a step in the right direction.”
” TransCanada want us to accept the risk of oil spills on the Rideau River and the climate impacts of runaway tar sands expansion,” said Ben Powless, Pipeline Community Organizer with Ecology Ottawa. “The Energy East pipeline is essentially a last-ditch, energy waste of a pipeline. There are thousands of people across Ontario that have already expressed opposition to this pipeline and it’s encouraging that they will have at least one venue to express their concerns and opposition.”
Ecology Ottawa is also calling on municipalities, including the City of Ottawa, to conduct their own risk assessments of the proposed pipeline. TransCanada, the company behind Energy East, has recently stated they intend to file their formal application with the National Energy Board in 2014. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a report by the Mowat Centre which argues that Ontario must seriously weigh the economic, environmental and social costs of such a pipeline.
To date, Ecology Ottawa has brought together hundreds of residents of Ottawa to talk about the pipeline, distributed over 15,000 flyers, and collected over 2,700 petition signatures rejecting the proposed pipeline. Ecology Ottawa will be participating in the national ‘Defend Our Climate’ day of action on November 16th.
For more information please contact:
Pipeline Community Organizer, Ecology Ottawa