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Energy East: a debate amongst Quebecers

Published by
World Pipelines,


Nearly six out of 10 people in Quebec are opposed to TransCanada's Energy East pipeline project, according to a new poll released, while one year ago, 70% of people in Quebec supported the pipeline.

"This new information shows that the more Quebecers learn about the Energy East project, the more they reject it. The Quebec government must acknowledge this clear majority opposing large-scale oil projects crossing the province," says Karel Mayrand, of the David Suzuki Foundation.

SOM survey

The poll – conducted by SOM surveyed 1007 people in Quebec – on behalf of Equiterre, the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada and Nature Québec shows that 57% of respondents ‘disagree’ with the building of the pipeline while 58% want to halt the current review process of Energy East, which is expected to carry and export tar sands oil across Quebec.

The poll also shows that only 35% of Quebecers ‘agree’ with the Energy East pipeline and, among them, only 10% said they ‘fully agree’ with the project. Within the Montreal Metropolitan Area, the number of people against Energy East is 60%. Last September, the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) – which is expected to unveil its position in early December – conducted a public consultation regarding the Energy East project. Today's poll reveals a dramatic turn in people's opinion. Indeed, those who support the tar sands pipeline have shrunk by half since 2014, when 70% of Quebecers were in favour of the project, according to a poll conducted by CROP.

Global emissions

"TransCanada's refusal to assess the effects on global GHG emissions, to count the Saint Lawrence River as part of the impact zone or to consider a major equipment rupture scenario greatly weakens its credibility among the population," says Christian Simard of Nature Québec.

When asked whether or not the federal government should suspend the current review process for Energy East so that it can be revised to ensure decisions are based on science and conform to the public interest, 58% of respondents said ‘yes’, almost twice as many as the 30% who answered ‘no’.

Comments on the poll

"The majority of the population in Quebec is asking Prime Minister Trudeau to halt the assessment of the Energy East pipeline, which is biased in favour of the oil companies," says Patrick Bonin, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace. "Continuing to assess Energy East would be a sham since the current process is anti-democratic and was set up under Harper's reign to facilitate the approval of pipeline projects. Time is running out and Mr. Trudeau must take action, because TransCanada intends to file its final draft by the end of the year."

On 12 November, more than 100 Canadian groups sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau asking him to keep his promise and stop the current assessments conducted by the National Energy Board (NEB).

"During the last election, Prime Minister Trudeau stated that 'governments deliver permits, but it is the population who must grant its permission,'" said Steven Guilbeault of Equiterre, adding, "without the support of the population, the pipeline can't be built."

This SOM survey was conducted by phone among 1007 people throughout Quebec, between 4 and 16 November 2015.

Edited from source by Stephanie Roker

Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/30112015/energy-east-a-debate-amongst-quebecers/

 

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