Quebec to seek injunction against Energy East pipeline project

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she’s not upset with Quebec’s decision to seek a provincial environmental impact assessment over the Energy East pipeline.

The injunction was filed Tuesday after TransCanada Pipelines ignored requests from Environment Minister David Heurtel that the project be submitted for provincial review, the minister said.

Just a few weeks ago, a coalition of environmental groups said it would be taking the company to court for not providing such a report.

The pipeline would carry 1.1 million barrels a day of western crude as far east as Saint John, N.B., serving domestic refineries and global customers.

Heurtel dismissed the idea the injunction could generate a backlash in Saskatchewan and other western provinces.

“Let’s respect the fact that there is a national process in place”, he said. “We are going to continue to fight for the sector we are going to continue to fight for Saskatchewan jobs”. It signifies that whoever seeks to build a project in Quebec must comply with all Quebec laws and regulations.

In January, influential Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and leaders representing 81 nearby municipalities said they oppose the Energy East pipeline because of environmental and economic concerns. “This is about one company that wants to do a project in Quebec which, in our opinion, is not respecting Quebec law”.

“Here’s a shovel-ready project that doesn’t take any federal dollars, and we have Quebec opposing it”, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall told reporters on Tuesday in North Battleford.

“Historically, at least in Western Canada, the approach has been to achieve a one-window regulatory process where there’s not duplication or overlap between the federal and provincial governments”, he said.

Wall says that investment by the company is an indicator Saskatchewan’s economy sector remains strong despite what is happening in the oil sector. He said Quebec will receive about $10 billion in equalization payments this year. TransCanada would take part in the study, the public hearing portion of which starts next week, he said by phone.

Energy East pipeline

 

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