Foreign funding may be going to Quebec, Ontario anti-pipeline groups

Americans allegedly helping to influence Laval residents

By Robert Frank

Laval’s last-minute push last week to address newly voiced environmental concerns about Enbridge’s pipeline through the city coincided with revelations that some California mega-charities have allegedly been quietly funding Canadian groups to oppose Canada’s oil industry.

During the last few months, at least $3.2 million in payments to activists and environmental groups has reportedly been dispersed to oppose Canadian oil development.

Among those contributions was a $75,000 payment to Quebec charity Equiterre from San Francisco’s Tides USA, to educate the public on, among other energy projects, Enbridge’s Line 9 oil pipeline through Laval, reported the Financial Post. Greenpeace Canada allegedly got as much as $190,000 to oppose pipelines, as well as $212,500 to Ontario’s Environmental Defence Canada.

Most of the contributions were reportedly made between June-October 2013.

In August, Equiterre issued a statement asserting that Enbridge’s pipeline “will rupture” soon after it reverses the flow through its Laval pipeline.

Equiterre alleged that Enbridge safety systems “will not prevent rupture” and that “Enbridge’s leak detection system and emergency response plans are inadequate.”

Equiterre said that it filed its objections before the National Energy Board (NEB) together with Environmental Defence Canada and five other similar groups.

“I cannot see how the NEB could approve such a reckless project,” said Equiterre official Steven Guilbeault.

Tides USA was also said to be active in lobbying against Canadian oil in Europe and in the United States, helping to oppose the Keystone pipeline that would carry Canadian crude to market through refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

In January 2012, environmental activists persuaded President Barack Obama to reject an application to approve construction of Keystone, though two months later he approved construction of part of the line—the section of the line from Oklahoma southward.

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