The Montreal chapter of the council of Canadians joined over 200 people gathered in downtown Montreal this morning in front of the National Energy Board proceedings on the proposed Energy East pipeline project.
Early into the days' proceedings, protesters stormed the room, resulting in the commissioners leaving and police entering to remove the protesters, arresting at least two individuals.
The CBC reports that "the ruckus began before Mayor Denis Coderre addressed the hearings as the scheduled first speaker. He canceled his appearance, calling the proceedings a "circus," and said he may hold his presentation Tuesday instead."
"Coderre was to appear at the hearings on behalf of the Montreal Metropolitan Community, just days after he called for their suspension after learning that federal energy officials met with a former premier lobbying for TransCanada. The NEB apologized, says it did not know that Jean Charest was working with the company at the time. Coderre has also repeatedly raised concerns about whether the potential environmental risks outweigh the pipeline's possible economic benefits."
The NEB hearings began in New Brunswick earlier this month on TransCanada's bid to build the 4,500-kilometre Energy East pipeline. The project proposal involves connecting a 40 year-old natural gas pipeline from Saskatchewan to Ontario with a new pipeline through Quebec and on to Saint John, New Brunswick and intends to transport up to 1.1 million barrels of crude per day, including diluted bitumen, through Canadian communities and sensitive ecosystems and waterways. The project has faced staunch opposition from varied groups across the country including many First Nations, various city mayors and government officials, fishermen, landowners along the route, the Department of National Defense, and hundreds of community groups and social and environmental organizations.
More information on our Energy East campaign is available here.
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