Former Member of Parliament Gilles Duceppe recently published a blog in the Journal de Montréal in which he accused TransCanada of not caring about Quebec. We believe this judgment is unwarranted and incorrect, and we encourage Quebecers to find out the facts about the Energy East Pipeline Project rather than rely on misleading statements.
TransCanada cares about the environment and takes environmental stewardship very seriously in all the communities and jurisdictions where we operate. This is not new for us. We have been safely designing, building and operating over 68,000 kilometers of pipelines across North America for more than 60 years. It is why we are leaders in the energy transportation business.
Part of our Energy East application, which is currently under review by the National Energy Board, includes a *marine terminal and tank farm in Cacouna. However, in response to the recommendation late last year by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada – that beluga whales in the St. Lawrence Estuary be classified as an endangered species – we have put that aspect of the project on hold.
That decision should come as a surprise to no one. We share the concerns of Quebecers and all Canadians about safety and the protection of the environment and wildlife. That includes the belugas in the St. Lawrence. Energy East will be designed, built, and operated with that concern in mind.
Second, we feel it is critical to ensure anyone seeking French-language versions of our project documents knows where to find them. Contrary to what some critics have said repeatedly, TransCanada is committed to making those documents available.
Thousands of pages of the Energy East NEB application are already accessible in French online (simply visit OleoducEnergieEst.com) including all aspects of the project in Quebec and New Brunswick. We are in the process of translating the remaining parts of the filing, and adding new documents as they become available. We have also distributed paper and electronic versions in a number of public libraries in Quebec and New Brunswick.
Lastly, throughout the planning process of Energy East, TransCanada has been working to share as much information as possible about the project with various stakeholders, including elected officials.
TransCanada and the government of Quebec are in discussions on a continuous basis over this $12 billion project that will generate, for Quebec alone, over 4,000 job in the first seven years and billions of dollars in new tax revenues and economic activity. We will continue these discussions in order to ensure we build a project that benefits everyone.