Why the Energy East Pipeline Should Not Proceed

Originally published by The Council of Canadians on November 7, 2016.

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The Bonnechere River in Renfrew (Source: Wikipedia)

The Council of Canadians Mississippi Mills chapter will be co-sponsoring a public forum on the Energy East pipeline featuring Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and climate justice campaigner Daniel Cayley-Daoust.

In an email to our supporters in the Renfrew area, Ontario-Quebec organizer Mark Calzavara provides the details:

When: 7:00 p.m. on November 17
Where: Renfrew O’Brien Theatre, 334 Raglan St. South, Renfrew
Tickets are $15.00 and are available in advance at the O’Brien Theatre in Renfrew.

Calzavara adds, “This event is part of the Need To Know Speakers Series.”

Following this event, Need to Know will also be holding a public forum on December 1 with David Sword (the Ontario advisor for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) and Jeff Gaulin (the vice-president of communications for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) titled, Pipelines – Their need and the value of getting Canada’s energy to market”.

Renfrew is located about 95 kilometres west of Ottawa. With a population of just over 8,200 people it is the third largest town in Renfrew County after Petawawa and Pembroke.

Ottawa Community News reports, “More than 2,000 kilometres worth of pipeline would run through Ontario, more than any other province. In the Ottawa area, the pipeline would run through Pembroke and Renfrew, cut south east through Stittsville, cross the Rideau River south of Kars and north of Kemptville and then follow the St. Lawrence River east. It would then cut north and cross the Ottawa River near Lachute, Que.”

The Ontario Rivers Alliance notes that the pipeline would intersect with approximately 1,174 streams, 873 lakes and 469 wetland areas in Ontario.

One of the waterways it would intersect is the Bonnechere River, which flows through Renfrew.

An oil spill into the Bonnechere River, the Petawawa River or the Madawaska River would have devastating consequences for the river and ecosystem, on residents, and the local economy. The Madawaska River flows from Source Lake in Algonquin Park and joins with the Ottawa River in Arnprior. The pipeline crosses the Madawaska River, which is used by the residents of Arnprior as their source for drinking water. Arnprior is situated about 30 kilometres east of Renfrew.

Barlow will be highlighting the argument she makes in her new book Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis.

She writes, The Energy East pipeline and the proposed western pipelines pose a clear and present threat to waterways and watersheds across the country. It would be irresponsible to expose thousands of lakes and rivers to spills of one of the dirtiest energy sources on earth. The Trudeau government must have the courage to say no to Energy East, which would also dramatically increase production in the tar sands, prolonging its productive life for decades and tying Canada into a fossil fuel energy future.”

In Boiling Point, Barlow also calls on the federal government to reinstate and improve the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Fisheries Act, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Local groups opposing the Energy East pipeline along with the Council of Canadians Mississippi Mills chapter include the Bonnechere River Watershed Project and Pipeline Awareness Renfrew County.

For more on our campaign to stop the Energy East pipeline, please click here.

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