LAVAL, QC, Sept. 10, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ – Laval Mayor Marc Demers, accompanied by residents and environmental leaders, met with the press today to present the submission filed with the Commission de l'environnement of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, within a consultation on the Energy East Pipeline Project. This submission is crystal clear: Ville de Laval is opposed to this project, not only on its own territory, but to the project as a whole. The Mayor moreover called for a vast mobilization of the municipal world, residents and civil society against this project: “We have the power to block this oil pipeline and to move its developers away,” stated Mayor Demers.
The final route of the oil pipeline on Laval territory is still not known; however, the plans being studied provide that the structure will cross through île Jésus, within the eastern part of the island. The oil pipeline would therefore cross through the two rivers that run alongside Laval—the Mille Îles and des Prairies rivers—the farming zone and two residential neighbourhoods, one to the north and the other to the south.
During the month of August, Laval authorities met with the representatives of TransCanada Corporation in this regard; however, they were not in a position to respond to the City's questions.
“Our main concern is our residents' safety and environment protection, and in particular, with regard to the risks of spills in our rivers,” explained Mayor Demers.
Recent events in fact show that despite the promises and commitments made by operating companies, accidents associated with oil pipelines frequently occur, causing human and environmental disasters with major impacts. Marc Demers pointed out: “Hundreds of serious problems are occurring on existing oil pipelines. Given such risks, it is unjustifiable to allow this project. People's safety takes priority over the rest and we will not allow the health and lives of our residents to be put in danger.”
In its submission, Ville de Laval also expresses an even greater concern surrounding the installation of oil pipelines. In Laval's opinion, such infrastructures come within an economic model that Laval doesn't support, as it advocates the use of fossil fuels and therefore non-renewable ones. “Our development philosophy is known, we believe in it and it is not going in the direction of fossil energies,” explained Marc Demers.
He mentioned, as a reminder, that Ville de Laval is recommending, instead, a vision that is based on sustainable development, a reduction in greenhouse gases and a reduction in the dependency on motor vehicles—particularly single-occupancy ones. A vision that is also based on active mobility of residents, electrification of transportation, the implementation of efficient energy-saving measures and the development of green, renewable forms of energy.
Accompanying Mayor Demers, Steven Guilbeault—the founding member and senior director of Équiterre—was very pleased with this position. “I would like to praise the leadership of Mayor Demers who, at the approach to the Paris Conference on Climate Change, recognizes that our development is no longer dependent on fossil fuels,” he stated. “We are delighted with this stand being taken by Ville de Laval and we hope that even more municipalities concerned will follow in Laval's footsteps,” added Mr. Guilbeault.
Mayor Demers also launched an appeal to the municipal world, to residents and to all groups that object to this project. “Together, we have the power to change things. Even though it is a project that goes beyond our city's limits, it is my firm conviction that it is possible to influence decisions,” affirmed the Mayor of the third largest city in Québec.
The Mayor of Laval in fact urged everyone opposed to the Energy East Pipeline Project to support the movement that Laval has launched, by expressing their interest in an email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the coming weeks, Ville de Laval is planning on undertaking an action plan with its allies in order to put the brakes on the oil pipeline project. In particular, the Mayor of Laval hopes to convince the other municipalities to follow in Laval's footsteps.
SOURCE City of Laval
Image with caption: “Marc Demers, maire de Laval, entouré de Steven Guilbeault, co-fondateur et porte-parole d’Équiterre, Pierre Lussier, directeur de Jour de la Terre Québec, Patrick Bonin, directeur climat de Greenpeace, et d’autres opposants au projet d’oléoduc Énergie Est de TransCanada. (CNW Group/City of Laval)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150910_C6878_PHOTO_EN_494620.jpg