It is important to us, at Transcanada, that those who wish to participate in the regulatory process on the Energy East Pipeline Project be able to do so in the language of their choice. We have already translated, and made available online and by other means, all documents pertaining to the project in Quebec and New Brunswick, as well as the information on the overall project, including its economic impacts.
When we filed our application to the National Energy Board (NEB) at the end of October 2014, we had already translated substantial portions of the filing into French. Thousands of pages of the application are already accessible in French online (simply visit OleoducEnergieEst.com), including sections relating specifically to the facilities we propose to build in Quebec and New Brunswick, and the steps we plan to take to ensure the safety of our pipeline and the protection of the environment.
We have also distributed paper and electronic versions in a number of public libraries in Quebec and New Brunswick. TransCanada has confirmed to the NEB that we will complete the translation into French of most sections of the application, and we will continue to make those translated materials available to the public as they are completed to ensure anyone seeking them can find them.
Repeated attempts to have the NEB’s review process stalled over this issue is not only in contradiction to what the law stipulates – the Official Languages Act does not require applications to be made in both languages – but it also ignore the reality that TransCanada is taking every reasonable step to ensure documentation is available in French for those who seek it.
A federal court in Montreal has now dismissed a request to have the NEB halt its examination of the Energy East application on the grounds that the filing was made in English and not French. We appreciate and respect the court’s ruling to uphold the spirit of the regulatory process and not to succumb to organized opposition whose only agenda is to stop the project and deprive Canadians the opportunity of a secure supply of domestic energy.
The federal court’s decision acknowledged TransCanada had provided extensive translations of the Energy East project application for the benefit of French-speakers. The judge said that only the federal court of appeal had jurisdiction over such requests, but that even so, the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate prejudice against francophones.
TransCanada cares about the communities we operate in because our employees live and work there. Everywhere we go, we seek to establish a dialogue with local stakeholders to understand the culture and the environment we operate in. We have held many open houses across Quebec over the past 18 months so our French-speaking experts could answer questions local residents had about the project.
We believe Energy East is a great project that will create jobs and economic and social benefits across the country. We will continue our discussions on the ground to ensure we build a project that benefits everyone.