Ecojustice Blog – Climate Posted on August 22, 2016 (updated: June 11, 2020)

We’re gearing up to fight the Energy East pipeline

Devon PageLawyer
Thursday Culloden outside Kenora, Ontario is in the area Energy East will pass through.
Photo by Steve Conger via Flickr

We are representing community group, Transition Initiative Kenora, in their fight to stop the Energy East pipeline. But first we need your help to make sure the review process is fair and unbiased.

With TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline review process underway, we’ve been hearing a soft rumbling among our supporters wanting to know if we’ll be joining the countless others standing their ground in opposition to this project. The time has come for us to say, yes we are!

We will be representing grassroots community group Transition Initiative Kenora at the TransCanada Energy East pipeline hearings in the months ahead.

Based in Northwestern Ontario, Kenora’s regional economy depends on pristine natural wilderness and its residents rely on local water sources for drinking, bathing, and cooking. Needless to say, a leak of diluted bitumen or other crude oil products from TransCanada’s decades-old pipeline would be disastrous to this community.

But before we can help Transition Initiative Kenora present evidence of these serious risks, we need to make sure that the review process tasked with determining the fate of the Energy East pipeline is fair and unbiased.

For those of you who might not know, the National Energy Board (NEB) is charged with conducting the review process for TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline. Its job is to make a final and independent recommendation to the federal Cabinet on whether the pipeline should go ahead.

But the early stages of its review process have raised cause for concern.

Recently we learned that in January 2015, two members of the Energy East review panel met privately and discussed Energy East with interested stakeholders, including Jean Charest who was then a consultant for TransCanada.

We are now urging the compromised NEB panel members to recuse themselves from the Energy East review. Communities like Kenora depend on a fair review process with panel members free from the perception of bias.

The truth is, Kenora is just one of hundreds of communities facing similar risks along the pipeline’s path. A spill could pollute their water, degrade their environment, and impact their livelihoods. Before we can tackle those problems though, we need to be certain that the process we are engaging with is fair, open, honest, transparent, and above all else, free from any appearance of bias.

You’ve helped us stand strong against the likes of Kinder Morgan and Enbridge’s Northern Gateway, and now we are asking you stand alongside us once again.

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