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Equiterre denounces “gifts” from Enbridge to Quebec municipalities

Montreal, February 14, 2013 – Equiterre is deeply concerned by news, revealed by Quebec-based financial channel Canal Argent yesterday, that the Alberta pipeline company Enbridge has made a series of “gifts” to Quebec municipalities along the Line 9 pipeline, for which Enbridge has asked permission to reverse the flow in order to bring tar sands oil to Montreal.

“We denounce these ‘gifts’ from Enbridge to Quebec municipalities. It borders on scandal. We have received complaints from residents who are worried that this money could compromise the neutrality of their municipalities regarding the proposed changes to the pipeline,” said Steven Guilbeault, deputy director of Equiterre.

Equiterre questions the legality of this practice. Municipalities can play an important role in the assessment and even the approval of a pipeline project such as the Line 9 reversal, especially in relation to drinking water and zoning by-laws.

As Article 8 of the Regulation respecting the application of the Environment Quality Act states: “A person who applies for a certificate of authorization shall also submit to the Minister a certificate attesting that the project does not contravene any municipal by-law. The certificate shall be issued by the clerk or the secretary-treasurer of a local municipality or, in the case of an unorganized territory, of a regional county municipality.”

Equiterre expresses doubt about the ethicality of municipalities accepting money from a company whose project they will later be called upon to help evaluate.

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For more information:
Loïc Dehoux, Equiterre
514 605 2000

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