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Montreal chapter at protest that says women will be impacted by the Energy East pipeline

Montreal Chapter

Montreal chapter at the protest against Energy East in Sorel-Tracy on March 6.

The Council of Canadians Montreal chapter joined a protest against the Energy East pipeline in Sorel-Tracy on Sunday March 6.

Sorel-Tracy is situated on the St. Lawrence River, about 90 kilometres north-east of Montreal. In September-October 2014, Calgary-based Suncor filled two supertankers with hundreds of thousands of barrels of tar sands bitumen from a marine terminal in Sorel-Tracy for export on the St. Lawrence River to both to Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea and to the Gulf of Mexico.

CJAD reports, “A wall of women lined up outside an oil storage facility in Sorel on Sunday, part of a protest against the proposed Energy East pipeline. …The female-oriented protest underscores the feminist issues that are entrenched, in combatting climate change at-large and pipelines in general, said Quebec Solidaire MNA Manon Masse. ‘All around the world, it’s always women who have to correct what happens after the impact of climate change’, she said. ‘I mean, they have to find good water, they have to feed their family and this is not easy.'”

CTV notes, “Several female protesters formed a symbolic wall, the message being the government should turn its back on the project. …Masse said the government should be investing in renewable energy, rather than supporting the oil industry.” And CBC adds, “Among the groups taking part in the protest was the Le Réseau québécois des femmes en environnement, who argued that women would likely bear the brunt of any negative health effects from the pipeline.”

The protest took place the day before hearings by the Bureau des audiences publiques sur l’environment (BAPE), Quebec’s environmental review board, began into the environmental impacts of the Energy East pipeline.

On the weekend, CBC reported, “A coalition of environmental groups was seeking an injunction because it believes the hearings will not be complete without impact studies from TransCanada, which is behind the proposed pipeline.” The Montreal Gazette further explains, “The government of Quebec filed an injunction last week asking that the pipeline project be halted until the company has complied with environmental laws in Quebec and produced environmental-impact studies. An environmental coalition also filed an injunction to try to have the BAPE hearings suspended, but the motion was rejected by a Superior Court judge.”

TransCanada has refused to comply with the request to produce the studies.

This morning, CBC reports, “Quebec’s environmental hearings into the Energy East Pipeline got off to a difficult start Monday evening, as protesters chanted and disrupted proceedings seconds after [TransCanada’s Energy East] vice-president began speaking. Joseph Zayed, with Quebec’s environmental regulation agency, was forced to temporarily suspend the hearings as protesters snuck into the audience room, unfurled a banner denouncing the pipeline and sang songs to try and silence the presenter.” The Montreal Gazette adds, “TransCanada’s presentation was delayed about 30 minutes while protesters sang and chanted ‘TransCanada will not pass.'”

The BAPE hearings in Lévis (near Quebec City) will continue through to March 17. After that, a second set of hearings will begin on April 25. BAPE will present its report to the Quebec government in November.

For more on our campaign to stop the Energy East pipeline, please click here.