Ontario wants to be heard at Enbridge pipeline hearings

The province of Ontario intends to participate in the National Energy Board hearings concerning an oil pipeline that runs through the Greater Toronto Area. The province’s minister of energy and infrastructure, Bob Chiarelli, said that the province would apply for intervenor status at the hearings.

enbridge-oil-pipeline-Toronto-Montreal-EDIWeekly

The pipeline in question, which belongs to Enbridge,  has been in place since the 1970s, running between Sarnia and Montreal. It originally carried oil from east to west, but Enbridge received permission in 2012 to reverse the flow of a section of the line so that it now flows west to east. Enbridge now wants to reverse the flow on the entire line, as well as increase the flow from 240,000 to 300,000 barrels per day. The line would thus carry western oil to Quebec refineries, which currently depend on more expensive foreign oil. According to Enbridge, most of the oil flowing through the pipeline is conventional crude, not diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands.

In Toronto, the pipeline crosses the city and all the rivers within it, running along a hydro right of way along Finch Avenue. Chiarelli said that environmental concerns surrounding the pipeline make it a “serious issue” for the province and for the people who might be affected, including First Nations people.

Opposition politicians have complained that the federal government has made it more difficult for interested parties to speak at regulatory hearings. Only “experts” and those who could be directly affected by a pipeline’s construction are now permitted to submit written opinions or testify at hearings. This makes it all the more important that the province exercise its rights to participate in those hearings, they say. Some have called for Ontario to undertake its own independent environmental assessment of the Enbridge proposal. Reversing the flow of a pipeline, especially one that is aging, as well as increasing its capacity, could put new stresses on the line, according to a Toronto area NDP MPP, Peter Tabuns.

“I have no interest in Toronto finding out where the weaknesses are by a huge spill on Etobicoke Creek or (the) Humber or Don (Rivers),” he said in the Toronto Star.

The city of Toronto has also indicated that it wants to participate in the hearings, which are expected to be held in August.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Five companies to provide power storage for Ontario
  • More warnings about skilled labour shortages in energy sector
  • Is Clean Diesel a myth, or a yet-to-come promise?
  • Contractors, steel workers unions support Northern Gateway pipeline
  • Toyota investment in Ontario brings new technologies, keeps jobs
  • Economy grew fastest in north, west in 2012: Statistics Canada
  • Ontario exports to lead country in 2016, mainly on demand for cars and parts
  • Powering the Future through Protonic Ceramic Fuel Cells?
  • Nanotech device can detect lung cancer in patients' breath
  • Manufacturing grew in August; oil industry to lose $2.1 billion in 2015
  • Armoured vehicles an important niche in Ontario's auto industry
  • Car Tech Trends from CES 2018
  • GE expanding cold-weather jet engine facility in Winnipeg
  • Manufacturing takes a hit as water heater plant closes in Fergus
  • GM investing $250 million at Ingersoll plant
  • Anticipation building for first test flight of Bombardier CSeries
  • Canada could lead the world in cleantech: report
  • Toronto team receives $250,000 prize for human-powered helicopter
  • NASA Plans to Send Robotic Helicopter to Mars in 2020
  • Little support in auto industry for Canada/Korea free trade deal
Scroll to Top