Montreal chapter opposes Energy East pipeline in Bécancour

(L-R) Montreal chapter activist Abdul Pirani with Eau Secours activists Joceline Sanschagrin, Jean-Yves McGee, Charles Sainte-Marie, and Nathalie Robitaille.

The Council of Canadians Montreal chapter took part in Earth Day activities in Bécancour on April 23.

Bécancour is a city located on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River at the confluence of the Bécancour River, opposite Trois-Rivières.

The outreach had highlighted, "The gathering of April 23 is intended to be family and festive. There will be music, speakers, workshops 'placards 101' and other surprises. By saying loud and clear #YouNoteNow!, we want to tell governments and companies that we will not accept the development of fossil fuels in Quebec. Looking forward to meeting you on the Quai de Bécancour, an inspiring, central and highly symbolic place with shale gas projects on one side of the river, the route of the East Energy pipeline on the other."

Just last month, the Toronto Star reported this caution, "Environment Canada is projecting that, based on policies in place last November, the country was on pace to miss its reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, pumping out at least 30 per cent more than promised that year."

This month, the Trudeau government announced it would delay by three years its plan to regulate cuts to methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. Andrew Read at the Pembina Institute estimates the delay will mean up to 55 million tonnes of methane will be released that otherwise would have been stopped.

With respect to the Energy East pipeline, the National Energy Board hearings on it were stopped in August 2016 following the scandal of two review panel commissioners privately having met with former Quebec premier Jean Charest, a paid consultant with TransCanada. In January 2017, the NEB officially appointed three new members to a panel to review the pipeline proposal. It has not been made public when the NEB hearings - in which The Council of Canadians is registered as an intervenor - will resume. There has been speculation that the new in-service target date for the pipeline is 2022.

The Council of Canadians calls on the Trudeau government to act responsibly by stopping its approvals of major carbon-emitting projects, ending fossil fuel subsidies, setting meaningful and scientifically-based emission reduction targets, and committing to a 100 per cent clean energy economy for 2050.