TransCanada’s Incomplete Application to the National Energy Board Provides More Evidence For What We Already Knew

TransCanada did not include a feasibility study and has no plan for how the Energy East Pipeline will cross the Ottawa River.

It’s now mid-May and, just days after NEBplaceholderthe National Energy Board received the 38,885-page application from TransCanada, there’s yet another problem with this proposed pipeline. We’ve known about the other problems for a long time now: climate change, the effect a spill would have on our local environment and community, and continuing Canada’s ties to a dying industry. Not having a plan for a major river crossing in their 38,885-page long application speaks to the pure recklessness and incompetence with which TransCanada is approaching this project.

The Ottawa River runs right through Ottawa and Gatineau, past Parliament hill, and connecting to the historic Rideau Canal. A bitumen spill in the Ottawa River would ruin the river for all wildlife and poison the drinking water for the people of Ottawa. It would also have a serious and negative impact on Ottawa’s tourism industry, water sports on the river, and remain a stain our nation’s capital forever.

When Ottawans think of a black, poisoned Ottawa River, they shudder. Despite this, TransCanada could not be bothered to have a proposal ready for the river crossing when their application was due in mid-May. Instead, they suggest that the NEB and Canadians alike should wait until this summer for their plan; we should just accept that they demonstrate deep apathy towards following known NEB procedures and the set timeline. Apparently, we should also accept that TransCanada does not even pretend to care about Ottawans and our local environment by advancing such a plan or conducting a feasibility study for the Ottawa River crossing.

CiB1zfXWwAAg9dS.jpg largeThis is not a complete application. No complete application for a bitumen pipeline running across our country should be allowed to have ‘placeholders’ instead of concrete plans and feasibility studies. For these reasons, the NEB should not treat this application as complete. The NEB must postpone any and all consideration of the Energy East Pipeline until a complete application has been received. Additionally, our elected representatives – including the MP from Ottawa Centre and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna – must reject this pipeline immediately not just because of the complete incompetence of TransCanada, but because even a full and complete application could not contain within it a pipeline that will not spill and will not contribute to climate change. To help us send this message, sign our petition which asks our elected representatives to reject this pipeline.

3 Comments on “TransCanada’s Incomplete Application to the National Energy Board Provides More Evidence For What We Already Knew

  1. TransCanada Pipelines Inc. (TCPL) sill aren’t even giving us satisfactory assurances that their workmanship on the Energy East project will be satisfactory – based on their treatment of professional engineer Evan Vokes whom they dismissed for exposing issues involving defective welding on the Keystone project, among other things. TCPL and the Harper government, between them, even fooled the RCMP into thinking that all would be well, before the RCMP produced their intelligence report in early 2014 concerning perceived threats to “critical infrastructure” including Energy East and all the other large pipeline projects for transporting crude oil, “dilbit” and related products. The RCMP, based on that same intelligence report, were clearly unaware of the issues around bad workmanship exposed by Evan Vokes. When is someone in authority going to tell TCPL to smarten up and stop being so stupid, and when is someone going to tell them to apologize to Evan Vokes and treat him properly? See my web site at I have EVERYTHING documented so anybody wanting a fight with ME over the facts of what happened will get one, and they will LOSE EVERY TIME.

  2. Thanks for this Avery. Just a possible clarification: I don’t think the existing pipeline that TransCanada wants to convert actually crosses the Ottawa River upstream of this city. It crosses that river much further east and south, near Rigaud-Oka. So I doubt there is a danger of a bitumin spill on the Ottawa that would poison Ottawa’s drinking water. What might poison it, of course, is a spill on one of the tributary rivers that the pipeline crosses, e.g. the Mississippi or the Rideau, especially the Mississippi which empties into the Ottawa upstream of the city. And a spill in the Rideau would affect that river, the Ottawa river below the falls (and downstream from the Lemieux water purification plant), and, as you mention, the Rideau canal. Am I wrong?


    • You’re absolutely right Richard. A spill in the Mississippi River is the most concerning one for Ottawa’s drinking water. The Rideau River is also very concerning, even though water intakes are technically upstream from it on the Ottawa river.

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