City of Laval rejects Energy East pipeline project

Presents memorandum at hearing on environmental impacts


On April 20, officials with the City of Laval presented the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) with a memorandum explaining Laval’s reasons for categorically rejecting Energy East’s controversial oil pipeline project.

Just risks, Demers said

“Energy East threatens our quality of life and our security and does not fit in with our future vision for Laval,” Mayor Marc Demers said. “This project, which carries only risks for Laval residents, in addition to slowing the transition to a green economy, must be rejected by the BAPE.”

Demers said the project promoter, TransCanada, “does not seem to be able to guarantee the security of its pipelines. Its project threatens our health and our environment while imposing all the risks. Never will we negotiate the security of our citizens.”

Not in step with vision

Demers said Energy East’s project isn’t compatible with Laval’s long-term vision for its territory which emphasizes the integration of rural and urban values. Laval’s brief states that the city does not believe that the production and transport of supplementary volumes of crude oil, with all the inherent risks, is necessary in the present economic context and while taking into account commitments made by Canada and Quebec to transition energetically in view of climate change.

According to an outline proposed by TransCanada, the pipeline would cross the island of Laval from north to south at the east end. Thus it would cross the Mille Îles and des Prairies rivers, where there are several areas that are protected for their rich biodiversity, as well as a significant agricultural zone, and two residential neighbourhoods, one in the north and the other in the south.

Potential spill impacts

Laval’s memo also expresses strong concerns regarding the potential impacts of a spill on the health and security of the population, on the high quality agricultural lands, on property values and on sensitive eco-systems. The memo points out that in the case of a spill into the Outaouais River, the forced closing of the Montreal region’s water supply would result in heavy economic losses for Laval businesses and industries, without even taking into account the impact on citizens.

As well, the lack of available water generated by such an incident could compromise fire department interventions and would thus also compromise the safety of citizens, infrastructures and the environment. Laval’s memo also rejected the argument that the abandonment of Energy East’s pipeline project would lead to more oil being transported by train. “We are using less and less oil in Quebec and we will be using less and less in the future,” said Demers. The city’s memo can consulted online at this web address: