Myth Busting: Energy East is Canadian oil for Canadians | The Council of Canadians

When TransCanada first announced its 4400km Energy East pipeline project from Alberta to Saint John, the spin was all about nation-building. This spin is dependent on the idea that Energy East will see crude produced in the Prairies replace so-called ‘foreign imports’ to Atlantic Canada.

Read More: Myth Busting: Energy East is Canadian oil for Canadians | The Council of Canadians

Power to the People or Protection of Vested Interests?

Originally published as a Letter to the Editor in the Eganville Leader, December 9, 2015

Is Ontario MPP John Yakabuski’s proposed Energy Referendum Act a tool to “put power in the hands of citizens” to determine whether or not to allow large-scale renewable energy projects in their communities? Or is it a thinly disguised ruse to stop the progress of clean energy projects in Ontario?

What other industrial projects require local government to hold a referendum before they proceed? None. For example, is TransCanada’s proposed Energy East tar sands export pipeline subject to local referendums along its entire 4,600 km route? No it is not. If it was, it would never proceed, as many municipalities have already passed resolutions opposing the Energy East pipeline, and many others are considering such resolutions.

If Mr. Yakabuski’s Private Member’s Bill was a genuine attempt to put power in the hands of citizens to determine their future, I would support it fully. But it is not genuine. It singles out one category of energy development and would impose special requirements on clean energy that are not imposed on dirty energy or any other type of industrial project.

This is a shameful act to protect dirty energy vested interests disguised as people power. The people of Renfrew County and Ontario expect and deserve better.

Duncan Noble, Killaloe

100% Possible: Marching together for Climate Solutions and Justice

Originally posted by Avaaz

THIS FALL, WE HAVE AN HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD BY OUR GOVERNMENT.

A consensus is growing around the world that the transition to a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 is not only necessary, it’s 100% possible. It’s a vision for a healthy, diverse economy with low-carbon jobs, that respects Indigenous rights, and stops growing the tar sands and new pipeline infrastructure, and it will lead to a safer, more sustainable, and more just future.

That’s why this November 29, people are gathering in our nation’s capital to send a message to our new government on the eve of their first international meeting – the high profile UN climate summit in Paris. It’s time the politics of climate action caught up with the science.

Join us in Ottawa on November 29 for 100% Possible: Marching Together for Climate Solutions and Justice, and show our government that solutions to the climate crisis are not only real, they are already on their way.

Join Us : www.100possible.ca

To see one PARC member’s reasons for joining this event, see his letter to the editor.

A group of us from Renfrew County plan on attending this event. If you are interested in joining us and car-pooling, please leave a reply to this post or contact us.

Small but Mighty – and Determined to Make a Point

Submitted by Judy Sauve, PARC Member

When PARC members learned that TransCanada was a “gold sponsor” of the 2015 World Freestyle Kayak Championship held in Beachburg, we decided it was important to go there to inform the public. Time was short for organizing but a group came together, gathered up previously used pickets, made some new ones and set up a carpool heading to Beachburg. We discussed en route how difficult it was to do this at an international event because we, like everyone else, instinctively want Canada to make a good impression. But we agreed that our reason for being there outweighed our discomfort.

The event was being held on the Ottawa River, specifically in the whitewater wonders which the media had described as the best natural location in the world for this sport. It is a priceless asset to the region, not only for recreation but it also creates employment. TransCanada’s sponsorship was considered by PARC to be grossly inappropriate because that company proposes to ship oil through the Energy East pipeline which would cross at least 24 waterways draining into the Ottawa River. A spill could potentially destroy this celebrated asset.

Members protested with pickets at the entrance to the event on closing day, September 5. It was encouraging to see many thumbs up as cars entered the grounds, although many others drove by intentionally ignoring the pickets. We didn’t interfere with the flow of traffic getting into the grounds but if windows were down, people were offered pamphlets.

We were told initially that we could stay, provided we remained on the strip between the ditch and the road. We set up and began displaying our pickets. After a while, the chief organizer of the kayak championship came by to talk to us. He clearly wanted us to leave, pointing out that this was just a competition involving amateur athletes. Tricia Darley, our spokesperson and co-founder of PARC, spoke with him and explained that our objection was not with the event but with the TransCanada sponsorship. He said they had donated $5,000 and if they had offered $10,000 he would have accepted it. He also suggested we could donate to the cause! He then gave up and drove away, not happy that we were staying but not interfering with our actions.

We stayed for a couple of hours, feeling by that time that most people had entered the grounds and that we had sent our message. During that time, Tricia completed two media interviews, one with myFM radio and another with COGECO cable. myFM immediately posted a picture and brief story on several websites and as yet, we don’t know when/if the video and interview will be carried on COGECO.

Conclusion? A successful day in getting the word out!

Inappropriate TransCanada Sponsorship for Ottawa Valley Canoeing Event Raises Questions

Originally posted by Environmental Defence on 3 September, 2015

TORONTO, ON – Pipeline company TransCanada is apparently seeking social license for its planned massive oil pipeline along the Ottawa River by sponsoring a major canoe competition. If built, the Energy East tar sands pipeline would create the risk of a major oil spill in the Ottawa valley, threatening the very recreational activities TransCanada is now sponsoring.

TransCanada is a gold sponsor of the 2015 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships taking place near Beachburg, Ontario this week. TransCanada’s sponsorship comes on the heels of similarly questionable grants in communities close to the proposed pipeline route.

“The timing of TransCanada’s sponsorship raises flags, given that the Energy East application is being reviewed by federal regulators,” Environmental Defence Climate Program Manager Adam Scott said. “TransCanada’s sponsorship looks like an attempt to curry favour with Ottawa valley residents – who would be negatively impacted by Energy East pipeline.”

There is a clear pattern of TransCanada sprinkling money on communities along the Energy East route in the months leading up to regulatory hearings:

  • Last year: money donated to Mattawa Township for a new fire truck, controversially asking them to sign a gag order in exchange.
  • May: Kemptville’s Dandelion Festival sponsorship was returned after musicians protested.
  • August: purchased sports equipment for the township of South Glengarry, near Cornwall.

“The question is, are we being bought by TransCanada? This is the second contribution that TransCanada has made in our area financially,” Pipeline Awareness Renfrew County co-founder Tricia Darley said. “Are they trying to buy our municipalities’ votes to have the Energy East pipeline run through our backyard? If so, it’s unethical.”

Pipeline Awareness Renfrew County is planning to gather on the last day of the competition on Saturday, September 5th, highlighting that the Energy East pipeline proposal puts the river in jeopardy and is incompatible with recreational activities like canoeing that depend on clean and healthy rivers.

The attempts by TransCanada come weeks after a critical Ontario Energy Board report on Energy East that highlighted risks to water and widespread local opposition in communities along the pipeline route.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

About Pipeline Awareness Renfrew County (parcrenfrew.org): PARC is a newly-formed grassroots group of citizens in Renfrew County, Ontario concerned about the impacts of the Energy East pipeline.

We Need You on Saturday to Help Protect the Ottawa River

Saturday is the last day of the 2015 ICF Freestyle Canoe Championships on the Ottawa River, near Beachburg, Ontario.  This event is being sponsored in part by TransCanada, the same company that is pushing for the Energy East tar sands pipeline, which would bring 1.1 million barrels a day of thick tar sands oil across many tributaries of the Ottawa River. TransCanada has a terrible safety record and we at Pipeline Awareness Renfrew County feel it’s inappropriate for TransCanada to sponsor an event that depends on clean and healthy rivers.

We are going to take a stand and hand out information at the competition beginning at 10am on Saturday September 5th.

We need you to come join us – will you come out on Saturday morning and help educate people about the Energy East pipeline?

DATE:  September 5th, 2015

TIME:  10:00 am

MEETING PLACE:  22 Fletcher Road (Whitewater Brewery) This is close to Beachburg and Foresters Falls – Look for the folks with picket signs.

Please RSVP here. If you aren’t sure if you can come but there’s a possibility, let us know anyhow so we can send a reminder to you and let you know if any details change.

The Ottawa River is threatened by this proposal and has no voice of its own – help be the voice of the River and come out on Saturday!