Letters to the Editor, May 15, 2014
On behalf of my mother, Lilian Connolly, and her family, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our local firemen and women who tried so hard to save 542 Main Rd. last week. Also a huge thank you to the firefighters from surrounding communities, the town employees who sprang into action, Michel from Brunet Pharmacy who opened his doors not only to give out prescriptions but to allow any victims to take whatever they needed all free of charge, the Red Cross, and Nova for donating free clothing.
Also thank you to Judith from “Boutique Judith“ for being so concerned about Lilian and opening her home to other victims. A special thank you to Kathy Murphy and Eric for opening their lovely home for several hours to my mother and Betty Mailer. Lilian was with me for several days and the phone did not stop ringing with people calling out of concern. Thank you. Lilian and Betty have both been welcomed into the community of “The Heritage Lodge” in Vankleek Hill and are very content at this time.
I read with interest the article on page 10 of Your Local Journal (May 1, Hudson zoning changes in line to meet PMAD guidelines) regarding a change in Hudson’s zoning change. You mentioned that the May 1st meeting was poorlyattended and since I hadn’t heard nor seen any notice for that meeting, I went back to last week’s issue in case I had missed it, but to no avail. However, I found it on the Town’s website; therefore, it would appear that one needs to visit the Town’s website every day in order to have the opportunity to exercise his or her democratic right. Why can’t notices for special meetings be listed in the Communities in Action page so that everyone knows about it?
One would expect that a meeting for such an important issue would be advertised so that all citizens would have a chance to attend and participate. Not everyone has easy computer access but their input is still valuable and they should be heard.
The following is an open letter to Mr. David Heurtel, Ministre du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la lutte aux changements climatiques (MDDELCC) Minister Heurtel,
In December 2013, the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fishing, Energy and Natural Resources held a parliamentary commission to study the acceptability of a project to use a 39-year-old pipeline (Enbridge 9B) to transport heavy crude oil from the Alberta tar sands to Quebec.
Enbridge plans to reverse the flow and increase the volume from 204,000 to 300,000 barrels per day.
Pipeline 9A runs from Sarnia to North Westover in Ontario. The 9B section goes from North Westover to Montreal East. Line 9 covers a total distance of 639 km.
In 2012, Enbridge ran an inline inspection tool through the pipeline. The results have never been shared, even with the National Energy Board (NEB), but following this inspection, Enbridge carried out over 600 digs to repair anomalies on the pipeline including nearly 200 in Quebec.
The Quebec Parliamentary Commission studied all aspects of the project and in December, 2013, asked Enbridge to comply with 18 recommendations before the pipeline flow reversal.
One of these recommendations is based on the available engineering reports and asks the company to test the resistance of the pipeline with a high-pressure water test before sending heavy crude oil through it.
On page 12 of the Commission’s report: “As requested in Ontario, hydrostatic tests should be carried out in Quebec. These tests are a means of verifying the integrity of the pipeline system.”
In his report to the NEB (August 2013), independent pipeline engineer Richard Kuprewicz recommended that hydrostatic tests be carried out on the pipeline. In his view, such tests are the only reliable way of detecting stress cracking corrosion which is a risk for pipelines with the type of covering present on Enbridge 9. He says hydrostatic tests are often used in Canada and that the technology is very advanced. Enbridge has carried out hydro tests on several of its pipelines but seems unwilling to do so on pipeline 9.
Mr. Kuprewicz suspects the company is avoiding these tests because the pipeline would fail them. He also predicts that without the tests and the necessary integrity work, there is a 90 per cent chance that the pipeline will rupture after flow reversal. “I do not make the statement ‘high risk for a rupture’ lightly or often. There are serious problems with Line 9 that need to be addressed.”
Enbridge does not have to follow the recommendations of the Quebec and Ontario governments because pipelines are under federal jurisdiction and regulated by the NEB, a federal body that receives 90 per cent of its funding from industry.
It is important to remember that Enbridge is responsible for over 800 oil spills since 1999 (an average of 73 per year), or 6.8 million gallons of oil spilled, as well as the biggest oil spill in North America (Michigan 2010) which polluted 50km of the Kalamazoo river.
La Coalition Vigilance Oléoducs (CoVO) is a coalition of citizen groups directly affected by the Enbridge project. Many members of CoVO live along the pipeline route and are worried about the real risks of a spill and the contamination of their drinking water. The 9B pipeline also runs under three major waterways in Quebec, including the Ottawa River which is the source of drinking water for the majority of the population of Greater Montreal, or approximately 2 million people.
We ask the Quebec Government to put heavy public pressure on Enbridge to carry out hydro-tests along pipeline 9, under the supervision of an independent pipeline engineer, and that the results be shared with the Quebec Government, as recommended by the parliamentary commission. This should be done out of respect for the citizens of our province and our democratic system.
Our message to Enbridge is this: If your pipeline is as safe as you claim, then out of respect for the population that is assuming the risks, the burden of proof is on you as a corporation. When a provincial government that is responsible for the health and wellbeing of its population studies your project and asks you to carry out hydrotests, you should do so.
CoVO members request that the Quebec government should demand complete transparency from Enbridge, considering that the National Assembly was unanimous in its demand that the promoter should respect the 18 recommendations it made, including hydro-tests.
We hope that your ministry will make the application of the National Assembly recommendations to Enbridge its highest priority.
Please be assured of our support and collaboration in this matter.
La Coalition vigilance oléoducs
Contact Katherine Massam
We wish to thank all our donors for contributing to the success of our first silent auction and spring brunch which were held in the St. Lazare church basement on April 27, 2014. Participants were able to bid on more than 20 different types of lots provided by local enterprises and individuals. The whole campaign raised $3364.80. One hundred percent of this money will go towards the purchase of medication and wheelchairs for underprivileged children in Father Veilleux’s parish in Pucallpa, Peru.
Anonyme, Adventum Philanthropic Marketing, Arbraska, Beauté Bien-Être Lili-Anne, Restaurant Bravo, Pharmacie Brunet Plus, Dante Carli, Clôtures invisibles, Hôpital Vétérinaire St-Lazare, IGA Poirier St-Lazare, Marie-France Coiffure, Musée régional VaudreuilSoulanges, Centre d’histoire La Presqu’île, Chantal Paulin, Pépinière Cité des Jeunes, La source d’entraide, Gervaise Vailleux , Victoria Gibson Massothérapie.