By Robert Frank
Despite lots of bluster, no one from Laval—environmentalists, municipal government or aspiring election candidates—has intervened in the approval process for the pipeline that runs through the city.
Enbridge Pipelines wants to reverse the flow in its 40-year-old viaduct to move crude from Western Canada to Montreal. At the moment, a lack of sufficient pipeline capacity has forced producers to ship oil via other, riskier means of transportation such as rail.
Yesterday, Enbridge made a two-and-a-half hour presentation to three federal government appointed panelists at National Energy Board (NEB), kicking off hearings that began, Oct. 8, at the Palais des congrès in Old Montreal.
According to NEB’s Calgary-based spokeswoman Carole Léger-Kubeczek, the Montreal hearings, which are slated to continue until Friday are for final oral presentations only.
“The intervenors will be giving their final arguments,” she told The Suburban in an interview. “Laval is not slated to intervene.”
Léger-Kubeczek explained that the written portion of the public intervention process wrapped up some time ago.
“That is when you get the exchanges of information,” she said.
She confirmed that Laval did not intervene at any point, effectively acquiescing to Enbridge’s proposal.
When this week’s edition of The Suburban went to press, eighteen other individuals and organizations were slated to appear this week, to present final arguments in favour of or against the pipeline reversal.
They include, in alphabetic order: Association Industrielle de l’Est de Montréal, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Cathérine Doucet, Conseil du Patronat du Québec, Equiterre (Coalition), Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec, Union des Producteurs Agricoles, Manufacturiers et exportateurs du Québec, Mowhawk Council of Kahnawäke, Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Rigaud, Sainte Justine de Newton, Très Saint Rédempteur, Ontario Pipeline Probe, Stratégies Énergétiques, Suncor, Valero Energy and Sainte Anne des Plaines.
After the Montreal hearings wrap up, Oct. 11, the panel will head down Highway 401, where it expects to hear another 21 presentations at the Toronto Convention Centre next week.
“Usually it can take up to three months after the close of final arguments to assess all the information and render a decision,” Léger-Kubeczek added. “That would likely be sometime early in the new year.”
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