Government needs assurances proposed TransCanada Energy project in Ontario's best interest

Government needs assurances proposed TransCanada Energy project in Ontario's best interest
Posted on November 16, 2013 | Bob Chiarelli | Written on November 14, 2013
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Letter type:
Op-Ed

Publisher

Publisher:
Windsor Star

Ontario supports the pursuit of an expanded and diverse supply of energy across Canada. The potential for shared prosperity is significant, with more jobs and a better-connected energy network for Ontario and Canada.

At the same time, the Government of Ontario needs assurances that the proposed TransCanada Energy East project is in the best interest of our province.

That means moving forward in a responsible manner, ensuring the highest level of environmental and safety precautions, and protecting the reliability of our natural gas supply.

The Energy East proposal would convert a natural gas pipeline to oil service. The impact on natural gas consumers, both homes and businesses, needs to be taken into consideration.

While approval of the process falls under federal jurisdiction, Ontario has an important opportunity to contribute, and we want our submission to the federal regulator to consider every viewpoint. That's why I've asked the Ontario Energy Board to complete a report on the proposed Energy East Pipeline that ensures the concerns of Ontarians are being addressed.

The OEB report will give our government the information it needs to advocate effectively on behalf of Ontarians during the federal process.

The Ontario Government is invested in the people of Ontario, their safety, their security and their interests. Which is why it is vital the proposal moves forward only when it adheres to the following principles:

- Meeting the highest available technical standards for public safety and environmental protection;
- Demonstrating world-leading contingency planning and emergency response programs;
- Fulfilling any duty to consult obligations with Aboriginal communities, and ensuring that local communities are consulted;
- Creating economic benefits and opportunities to the people of Ontario over both the short and long-term.

Ontario believes that any economic and environmental risks and responsibilities should be the responsibility of the pipeline companies.

Throughout this process, we will continue to work together with our federal and provincial partners to ensure these principles and the interests of Ontarians are addressed.

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About The Author

Bob Chiarelli's picture

A well known figure in Ottawa, Bob Chiarelli was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on March 4, 2010 in a byelection in the riding of Ottawa West-Nepean. Bob was previously MPP for the riding of Ottawa... More

Comments

Dear Bob, I hope the Ontario government will take a long, hard and honest look at all the impacts the Energy East pipeline will have, including what the expansion of the Tar Sands means to Climate Change, not just here in Ontario and Canada, but everywhere this Tar Sands oil will be burned.

Mr. Chiarelli,

I think we all know that it's not a question of whether the Energy East pipeline will leak but when and where and how much damage will it cause to the victim community and the environment.

One of the principles quoted in your article is "Meeting the highest available technical standards for public safety and environmental protection." I'm sure that was a guiding principle for every other pipeline environmental impact study that has ever been conducted. That never stopped any subsequent pipeline leaks.

The proposed route for the existing natural gas pipeline runs across some very important watersheds. Part of the proposed project will include the conversion of a very old section of pipeline designed to carry much lighter crude than the bit oil coming from the Oil Sands.

Although I accept the need to "keep the lights on", where is your government's plan for transitioning to a post-carbon world.

I think Sir that the Ontario electorate is ready to support such a plan. Do you agree?