Letter to the editor 4, Dec. 22, 2015
TransCanada Pipeline information evening held in Rigaud December 16
In addition to the six Garda security guys hired by TransCanada to guard the doors outside the building, two TC thugs at the inner door pretended to greet visitors, but were there to bar entry to protesters.
I was not allowed in unless I left behind the photocopied questions I carried, intended for the TC reps. who had supposedly come to Rigaud to answer questions. I refused to leave my papers at the door, and stood there deciding what to do. When a friend came to the door to gain entry, I handed her one of my papers with questions on it to ask them, and the thugs physically pushed me out the front door. That constitutes assault, in addition to the affront to freedom of expression which expressly gives us the right to distribute flyers in public places. The thugs and a TC Vice President (whom I did not speak to because no one from inside bothered to come to the door to find out what was going on there, though they were often unoccupied, since relatively few people attended) argued that they rented the hall, so could bar anyone they wanted to. They had put out an invitation to the public, my motives were clearly peaceful, and the milling-about (it wasn't a meeting) was held in a building my taxes pay for. No one from TC even glanced at my papers to see what they were.
The people who entered whom I spoke to on exiting, found the intent of the evening was evidently marketing and not to respond to questions from the public. Reps were unable to answer questions, but wanted to show what they had decided we needed to know - i.e. the state of their art in theory. The people demonstrating clean-up machines (for a line that's not supposed to spill) had no clue who would operate those machines or who would be asked to purchase them and have them on hand, for example.... The only person who thought the whole thing was "très bien" was a relative of one of the 20-odd TCan employees present in the room.
Basically, it was a non-event that said a lot more about TC's attitude to the public that is directly threatened by their pipeline, than about pipeline safety. This attitude is decidedly disrespectful and even hostile.