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Montreal Pipe Line won't appeal, but Trailbreaker still a threat

Montreal, March 21, 2012 - Montreal Pipe Line Ltd. will not appeal the decision by the Court of Quebec regarding the construction of a new pumping station on farmland in Dunham. 

In its decision, the Court of Quebec confirmed that Montreal Pipe Line must prove to the province's farmland protection commission that there is no viable location for the station outside of a green zone. (The station would serve to reverse the flow in pipelines between Montreal and Portland.)

This decision is important because it clearly communicates to the province's farmland protection commission that it must require developers to prove that their projects can't be implemented outside of protected agricultural zones.

Equiterre hopes that this decision, which bolsters the Act to preserve agricultural land and agricultural activities, will help the commission better protect farmland. 

In spite of what developers may say, it seems that the "Trailbreaker" project is still very much alive. "The Line 9 Reversal Phase 1 request by Enbridge to the National Energy Board and the recent remarks by the Minister of National Resources Joe Oliver about exporting oil from the tar sands to the East via Montreal suggest that oil companies and the federal government are still pursuing this line of thinking," says Steven Guilbeault, deputy executive director of Equiterre.

Although developers continue to indicate that the project has been suspended, Equiterre would like to see this case brought before the province's farmland protection commission in a transparent and open fashion. In the meantime, "Equiterre will closely monitor the actions of the company and continue to work with other groups to block the passage of tar sands crude through Quebec," says Guilbeault. 


Émilie Vallières

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