To the editor:
When it comes to the Energy East pipeline, there is no getting around the fact this project represents benefits for North Bay and district, for Ontario and for all of Canada. The project will support thousands of jobs right here and across the country, and will provide a much-needed way to transport Canadian oil to Canadian customers in eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and for export around the world.
It has been shown that pipelines are the safest way to move oil over long distances. Energy East can help reduce the number of the high-risk rail cars and transports that travel through our community every day and that are in much closer proximity to our water supply.
From a business standpoint, Energy East is a great opportunity, especially for North Bay.
A study by the Conference Board of Canada shows the project will generate nearly 4,000 full-time jobs every year during development and construction, across Ontario. TransCanada has already stated it is committed to local hiring and procurement, and that means additional jobs and opportunities for companies and workers right here in North Bay.
TransCanada has been in North Bay for more than 60 years and today has more than 80 employees in our city. Last year, TransCanada paid $2 million in property taxes to city hall and it has regularly supported local causes as a part of our community for years. TransCanada has done business with a many local businesses and we expect to see that number to grow with Energy East.
The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce supports the Energy East project for all the reasons we outlined above, but we are very mindful as all others in North Bay, that this project ensures proper safety precautions are taken to protect our environment, especially Trout Lake.
In our meetings with TransCanada, and in their many public open houses held in North Bay over the past two years, the team from Energy East has provided very detailed plans on the many safety features being planned for the pipeline project. We will continue to add our voice to this important discussion and ensure that North Bay’s natural beauty is protected, but we will do so in a constructive way.
Planners of Energy East have publicly acknowledged Trout Lake is considered a sensitive area and have committed to putting in place measures to protect our water, including additional shut-off valves in the event of an emergency.
From our perspective, Energy East represents a true opportunity and we would also be playing a pivotal role in helping to safely transport Canadian resources to eastern Canadian refineries that currently rely on foreign imported oil to stay in business.
In short, Energy East is safer than the status quo, and will bring real, long-term opportunity to North Bay and to all of Ontario for years to come. That is why we support this project, done right and done safely.
president, North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce
North Bay Nugget, Letter to the Editor, Thursday, April 28, 2016 11:26:20 EDT PM, as posted at http://www.nugget.ca/2016/04/28/chamber-supports-project-done-right-and-done-safely