• Katherine Massam

A clear ‘No’ to TransCanada Pipelines and to Bill 106 from local citizens


PHOTO COURTESY CITOYENS AU COURANT

Citoyens au Courant members Lorraine Caron (left) and Katherine Massam get feedback on the proposed TransCanada pipeline project from attendees at the Town of Très-Saint-Rédempteur’s annual festival.

While festivities were underway at the Fête du Village in Très-St-Rédempteur (TSR) on Sunday, local citizens participated in an opinion poll on two important issues that could have a dramatic impact on their future.

“The vast majority of people at the fête wanted to participate” said TSR resident Katherine Massam.

The first opinion poll was on the subject of Energy East, the pipeline being proposed by TransCanada Pipelines which will run along the Ontario border at Vaudreuil-Soulanges, before crossing into Rigaud and through the Ottawa River at Pointe-Fortune.

“As a resident of Rigaud, my drinking water comes directly from the Ottawa River, along with 2.5 million others who live downstream including Hudson and Vaudreuil-Dorion. Transcanada’s leak detection systems don’t even detect 50% of pipeline spills, and a leak at the Ottawa River could devastate our economy” said Annette Richter.

In all 70 citizens asked the provincial government to publicly oppose the pipeline project.

The second opinion poll dealt with Bill 106, introduced by the provincial government in June. The bill proposes a legal framework for the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas resources in Quebec as well as the creation of a new entity that would be responsible to implement the government's new energy policy. Hearings on Bill 106 are taking place this week, with the majority of invited participants being openly in favour of the bill.

“Citizens were refused access to the parliamentary hearings, so we decided to conduct our own local poll,” said Charles St-Pierre of TSR. “After all, the bill will allow gas and oil companies to come and drill in our backyards, so it affects us directly.”

Bill 106 will give oil and gas companies the right to drill and carry out fracking in Quebec, giving only 30 days notice to landowners. “If a fracking company wants to drill on your property, you have to negotiate with the company on conditions of access. If you can’t agree, they can expropriate,” said Jean-Philippe Lafortune of Rigaud.

Bill 106 also gives oil and gas companies the right to use municipal control of water sources and change zoning rules in order to facilitate extraction projects, without consulting municipalities.

The opinion poll asked the provincial government to change the law in order to better protect citizens, and restore the moratorium on fracking in Quebec. Sixty-seven people signed the poll.

“The Provincial Government made clear pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec (37.5% by 2030, and 80% by 2050), and the development of non-conventional oil and gas will likely make those targets impossible to reach,” said St. Lazare resident Lorraine Caron. “The provincial government needs to help alternative energy development, not gas and oil development. That’s the future.”

Both opinion polls will be delivered this week to Soulanges MP Lucie Charlebois.

Text of the two opinion polls

Energy East:

Energy Ea