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 the 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.
This 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.