• James Armstrong

Pipeline testing supported by Rigaud town council


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Rigaud town council’s decision to support pipeline hydrostatic testing drew applause from members of Citoyens au Courant and congratulations form the group’s spokesperson Serge Dion.

Rigaud town council officially passed a resolution March 9 demanding the National Energy Board (NEB) require Enbridge perform hydrostatic tests on Pipeline 9B before using it to transport petroleum products to eastern Canada. According to Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr., the council has taken this step because the pipeline passes through Rigaud municipal territory and could pose a threat to local water supply and citizen safety. “If the pipeline wasn’t 40 years old, I would feel differently,” said the mayor, noting that if the vice president of the NEB has said that hydrostatic tests could damage the pipeline, then there is cause for concern when it is used to transport petroleum.

Gruenwald Jr. further said if the NEB does not heed the request for testing, then he is prepared to take the issue to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “We’re the first municipality to do that,” Gruenwald Jr. told Your Local Journal March 11. “I work with the pipeline because I cannot afford not to work with them. The worst thing we can do is stop talking to each other.”

Members of a local protest group Citoyens au Courant applauded the council’s action. “You are the first municipality to take the time to do this,” stated spokesperson Serge Dion during question period. Dion pointed out that the testing takes place over a four-hour period and indicates where there are leaks.

“We don’t want petrol in our drinking water,” he said. Rigaud is the first municipality in the Municipalité Régionale de Comté de Vaudreuil- Soulanges (MRC-VS) to take this action and Dion said he hopes other municipalities will follow suit. Council repealed two resolutions that were passed at the February 2015 meeting - creating the post of Project Manager for the construction of the new town hall, fire station and municipal garage and the hiring of engineer Claude Bélanger to perform that task.

The mayor explained in an interview after the meeting that Hubert Bourque of XWM Services Inc. would replace Bélanger. “There was a conflict of personalities before we got started,” said Gruenwald Jr. in reference to Bélanger. “The first meeting went well but at the second one we realized we were going down the wrong avenue,” said the mayor. In fact, council approved the granting of a contract to XWM Services Inc. for professional services regarding the new construction project for 2015 in the amount of $21,700.

The mayor said Bourque, who is the president of that company, is highly qualified and experienced. In other business, council approved the request for a grant from the Ministry of Transport Véloce II program to support the development of a bicycle trail on the former railroad track bed.

Council also approved the motion to re-purchase the site of the former Écocentre from the MRC-VS for the same price that it was previously sold to the county, $160,069. A contract for the purchase of a mechanical broom, street sweeping machinery that collects debris rather than scattering it onto the lawns of adjacent properties, was granted to Eddynet Inc. in the amount of $21,648.

Councillor Danny Lalonde encouraged residents to register for the Rigaud Fleurissons Ensemble competition. According to the town web site, trees and perennial plants will be distributed to residents only on Saturday May 16 from 9 a.m. to noon in Parc Desjardins-de Rigaud, 27 rue Saint- Jean-de-Baptiste East. The next Café de Citoyen, in English, is scheduled for Saturday March 28 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Robert- Lionel-Séguin building situated at 102, rue Saint-Pierre.

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