By Gary Houston, Vice-President, Ontario and Prairies, Energy East Pipeline Project
I was in Kenora with my team on Tuesday, Aug. 12, to discuss TransCanada’s proposed Energy East Pipeline with local residents. We received a lot of great questions and comments regarding safety, emergency response planning, environmental protection and the project benefits for the community.
I want to thank the residents of Kenora for welcoming us back, and for hosting me at my first open house as the new vice-president of Energy East for Ontario and the prairies. We take your questions and input about our project very seriously. If it’s important to you, then it’s important to us.
We also want to make sure you have the facts and all the information you need to make informed decisions about Energy East. It is an important project because it will create thousands of jobs across the country, enhance our country’s energy security and generate billions of dollars in additional tax revenues and economic spin-offs for local governments and businesses. We are committed to ensuring the pipeline is built and operated in the safest, most environmentally-responsible manner possible.
We have organized more than 80 open houses over the past 18 months. These events allow us to share accurate information and gather feedback about the pipeline, and they are a cornerstone to the success of our community engagement programs and ultimately the project.
Our open houses are designed to provide a safe and respectful space so that everyone feels comfortable asking questions and expressing their views. We welcome all feedback and respect all of your opinions. That said, it is unfortunate that the disruption of the Kenora open house by a small group made some members of the public, who took time out of their day to attend the open house, feel uncomfortable and hindered their ability to get the information they were seeking.
I want to be clear; we want to hear from everyone interested in sharing their thoughts with us. Each community group, First Nations group, business group, landowner and anyone in between are always welcome to attend our events. We have been speaking with, and will continue to speak with, those who want to meet with us. We only ask that this be done in a safe, transparent and respectful manner for everyone involved.
I would encourage anyone who is looking for more information on Energy East or wants to provide feedback about the project to visit this website or call 1-855-895-8750. We will be glad to answer any questions you have and your input will be used to inform our plans for the project as we move forward with our application to the National Energy Board
Thank you once again for hosting us, asking important questions and sharing your thoughts. We appreciate your hospitality and look forward to gathering with you again very soon.