‘There’s no way we will accept it if the pipeline is within the Trout Lake watershed,’ North Bay’s MP says

The Nugget | 16 December 2016 | It’s a deal-breaker if TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline runs through the Trout Lake watershed, says Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota.

Rota was criticized for statements he made this past weekend during a pipeline protest in front of his Main Street West constituency office in North Bay.

Demonstrators voiced their concern in letters to the editor and on The Nugget’s Facebook page.

Catherine Murton Stoehr said if Rota agrees with the people of North Bay, he should have promised to break with his party and oppose Energy East.

She said if Rota didn’t agree, he should have explained his position, especially with how the Liberals are following the environmental mandate given to them in the last election.

Instead, Murton Stoehr claims, Rota told the demonstrators climate change is their fault because they use plastic.

Rota insists he wasn’t placing blame. Rather, he was explaining the need to reduce the public’s dependence on oil.

“To say to not produce any more oil is not realistic. We have to look at our consumption and reduce it,” he said.

“Attacking the production side is not the solution. We have to address the consumption side of the equation and find alternatives to fossil fuels.”

Rota reiterated his stance on Energy East.

“There’s no way we will accept it if the pipeline is within the Trout Lake watershed. That is a deal-breaker,” he said.

The $15.7-billion Energy East project is a 4,500-kilometre pipeline that will transport about 1.1 million barrels of bitumen daily from Alberta and Saskatchewan to the East Coast.

North Bay Mayor Al McDonald has said the city has put aside $250,000 in its legal fund to ensure its voice is heard at National Energy Board hearings and the city’s water source is protected.

By JENNIFER HAMILTON-MCCHARLES, The Nugget, Friday, December 16, 2016 1:28:38 EST AM, as posted at http://www.nugget.ca/2016/12/16/theres-no-way-we-will-accept-it-if-the-pipeline-is-within-the-trout-lake-watershed-north-bays-mp-says

Ottawa announces new National Energy Board members to review Energy East pipeline

Current board members recused themselves after it was learned they met with consultant for developer
By John Paul Tasker, CBC News Posted: Dec 12, 2016 2:32 PM ET Last Updated: Dec 12, 2016 2:51 PM ET

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues recently signed off on two major pipelines, projects that will pump nearly a million more barrels of oil a day from Alberta’s oilsands to global markets, if they are constructed.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues recently signed off on two major pipelines, projects that will pump nearly a million more barrels of oil a day from Alberta’s oilsands to global markets, if they are constructed. (CBC)

Don Ferguson, a former top bureaucrat in New Brunswick, Carole Malo, a seasoned accountant and consultant from Ontario, and Marc Paquin, a lawyer and professor from Quebec focussed on environmental law, are the three bilingual panellists Carr picked to study the 4,500-kilometre pipeline, which will carry oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada.

“The National Energy Board is responsible for reviewing important major energy projects. I am confident these three individuals and the skills they bring will ensure the NEB is properly equipped to carry out this important role,” said Carr, who represents Winnipeg South Centre.

In September, the National Energy Board announced its three Energy East panellists had recused themselves following complaints that two of them met with former Quebec premier Jean Charest, a consultant for developer TransCanada at the time, to discuss the pipeline. They are still NEB board members, and have since been reassigned to review other projects.

Those resignations derailed the process, which had also been rocked by protests from anti-pipeline activists in Montreal.

The chair or acting chair of the NEB is ultimately responsible for assigning new board members to specific duties, but the current chair, Peter Watson, had to step away from making any decisions related to Energy East after he, too, met with Charest.

David Hamilton, a board member from Sidney, B.C., will now reconstitute the board.

Under the previous Conservative government, the board was given the power to do environmental assessments and public consultations under specific, limited timelines.

Carr granted an extension to the NEB’s review process in April, giving the board 21 months to study the $15.7-billion project and report back to cabinet with its assessment as to whether construction should proceed.

The minister has previously said there could be “modest” delays to the review after the departure of the previous board members.

However, a spokesperson for the NEB told CBC News Monday the panel still has its eyes on the March 2018 deadline.

“At this point, there is no change to the time limit for the review of the Energy East Project,” Sarah Kiley said in an email.

The new appointments come a month after Carr also named a five-person panel to begin nationwide consultations on reforming the NEB in its entirety.

Environmental activists have said the NEB is too close to energy companies to carry out an impartial assessment of environmental impacts.

“There is no credible way that this review can restart under the Harper-era rules,” Keith Stewart, the head of Greenpeace Canada’s climate and energy campaign, said in an email.

“Since it has to go back to square one, let’s do it right and use the modernized environmental review process promised by Trudeau during the election campaign.”

As posted at http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/new-neb-board-members-energy-east-1.3892748

8 December, 2016 20:16

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For Immediate Release
Friday, Dec 9, 2016
Stop Energy East (North Bay) Hosts Solidarity Rallies
No Dakota Access Pipeline Rally at Gateway Arch in Lee Park at 2 pm
Call-Out for Climate Leadership at MP Anthony Rota’s office at 3 pm
North Bay – Area residents concerned about climate change and water protection will rally at the “Gateway Arch” in Lee Park to celebrate the victory of the thousands of protesters who joined the Standing Rock Sioux near Cannonball, North Dakota. Protestors there have spent several months protecting their sacred sites and precious water from the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“We’re encouraged that the US Army Corps of Engineers has backed down from permitting the oil pipeline under the Sioux water supply,” says Stop Energy East (North Bay) supporter Elizabeth Frazer,

“But we still need to stand in solidarity with those water protectors.The incoming US administration threatens to reverse the Army order, and the pipeline proponent, Energy Transfer Partners, says it may simply proceed with construction and pay the fines.”

Meanwhile, Canada’s own federal government has recently approved Kinder Morgan’s hotly-contested Trans Mountain pipeline and Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, which together will pump nearly a million more barrels of oil a day from Alberta’s tar sands to global markets, threatening, again, the water and the climate. BC’s spectacular West Coast is at risk from a huge increase in the number of supertankers filled by TransMountain.

After the show of solidarity with Standing Rock at 2:00 pm, supporters are invited to join a walk from the Gateway Arch to 373 Main Street West. At 3:00 pm, Stop Energy East (North Bay) will host a rally at Nipissing Temiskaming MP Anthony Rota’s office, calling for real climate action instead of pipelines like TransMountain, Line 3, or Energy East.

TransCanada is proposing to convert a decades-old natural gas pipeline to make it a carrier for diluted bitumen, extracted from the the Alberta tar sands and intended for export to international markets. In addition to being a barrier to meeting Canada’s carbon targets, the project poses high risks for water bodies along its 4,000 km route, including through the Lake Nipissing and Trout Lake watersheds.

Area residents are encouraged to bring banners, signs, friends, family, neighbours and co-workers. Details are available at www.stopenergyeastpipeline.ca.

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Marc Tessier 705-495-3771 mahusizo.tes01
Donna Sinclair 705-472-5849 donnasinc