Press Release: Ecology Ottawa calls on Ottawa Chamber of Commerce to cancel pipeline event on eve of Earth Day

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For immediate Release

March 31, 2016, Ottawa, ON – Ecology Ottawa is calling on the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce to cancel an event promoting the proposed Energy East pipeline scheduled for April 21, the eve of Earth Day. A letter expressing concern about the event, sent by Ecology Ottawa two weeks ago to the Chamber of Commerce, has thus far gone unanswered (view letter here or at www.ecologyottawa.ca).

“Would the chamber promote a major tobacco company the day before World Lung Cancer Day?” asked Graham Saul, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. “We find the kind of promotional event that the Chamber is planning very troubling. Holding the event the day before Earth Day seems either insensitive to the very real dangers associated with the proposed Energy East pipeline project or intentionally provocative.”

In their Eggs N’ Icons breakfast series, the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce is hosting TransCanada’s Ontario Director, Stefan Baranski, who will be promoting the proposed Energy East pipeline project. Energy East, which would transport over a million barrels a day of oil from Alberta to St. John, New Brunswick, poses a significant environmental risk to the land and water along its route, including many areas inside the City of Ottawa. The pipeline will also undermine Canada’s ability to do its fair share to fight climate change by facilitating the exploitation and export of greenhouse gas-intensive tar sands oil. For more on the proposed Energy East pipeline, click here.

The event’s topic, Energy East: New Jobs, Investment and Growth for Ontario, is exactly the same as the title of a press release from a group of signatories – including the Ontario Chamber of Commerce CEO – supporting the pipeline project in August 2015.

“This is clearly an event designed to promote the interests of the oil industry,” said Saul. “Ecology Ottawa believes that, at the very least, the Chamber should not take sides on this extremely controversial project, and that they should cancel the event, as well as issue a statement clarifying that the Chamber is not advocating on behalf of the proposed Energy East pipeline.”

Ecology Ottawa called the Chamber of Commerce and was told to send in a letter expressing concern. The letter was sent on March 15th and has thus far not been responded to. To view the letter, click here.

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For more information, please contact:

Graham Saul Executive Director Ecology Ottawa 613-710-2819 [email protected]

Alex Tétreault Lead Organizer – Renewable City Campaign Ecology Ottawa 613-294-2024 [email protected]

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