Couillard Says No to TransCanada Quebec Port Terminal Plan
TJ DEC 3
THE CANADIAN PRESS
QUEBEC • Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says TransCanada Corp.should abandon its plan to build a port terminal in an area where belugas have been listed as an endangered species.
A federal government wildlife committee concluded that the beluga’s numbers in the Cacouna area in eastern Quebec have dwindled to 1,000 from a high of 10,000. Couillard says that information will make the project harder for TransCanada (TSX:TRP) to sell at environmental hearings in Quebec and with the National Energy Board.
On Monday, it announced it would halt all work on the terminal in response to concerns the project could hurt the beluga habitat. Couillard made his comments in Quebec City at a joint news conference with Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, who reiterated the economic importance of the project becoming reality. He also stressed the economic importance of the pipeline for Alberta and the country as a whole.
TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) wants to build a 4,600-kilometre pipeline to carry 1.1 million barrels per day of oil-sands crude from Alberta to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick. The final stop would be the Irving Oil refinery and a proposed $300-million export terminal in Saint John.
The company filed a 30,000-page application for the project with the National Energy Board in October. Couillard’s government has laid out various conditions for the project,including that it be subject to an environmental assessment and that TransCanada prepare an emergency plan for a spill. Quebec also insists TransCanada must consult with communities, including First Nations, along the pipeline’s route, before the project will be accepted. Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in Ottawa and the provincial governments in Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have thrown their support behind the project.
Ontario and Quebec have been less enthusiastic, issuing a list of seven conditions to gain their support, including proof that Energy East won’t harm the environment and will provide them economic benefits. New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says the project can’t be taken for granted and vows to continue lobbying for it, arguing it will benefit the entire country.
He has met with Couillard, Prentice and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss the Energy East project. Prentice is scheduled to meet with Wynne in Toronto Wednesday. – With files from the Telegraph-Journal
Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, left, and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, met Tuesday in Quebec City. Among the topics the two touched on was the Energy East pipeline project. Photo: thE CANADIAN PRESS