Conflicting views in Carp over Energy East pipeline

Energy East Pipeline Map

Conflicting views on the proposed Energy East pipeline were on full display in Carp Wednesday night.

Trans Canada, the pipeline developers, held a safety information session at Carp Agricultural Hall, while members of environmental group Ecology Ottawa handed out pamphlets outside warning about the dangers of oil spills.

The event featured kiosks, iPads and scale models of the proposed pipeline. Dozens of community residents attended, though they were largely outnumbered by Trans Canada volunteers and employees.

Tim Duboyce, senior communications specialist with Trans Canada, felt there was a positive reaction from the community. He attributes this to the existing natural gas pipeline that runs through the area.

“In places where you already have a presence, I think people are used to pipelines,” said Duboyce. “Once they feel they’re familiar, they don’t necessarily have any more questions to ask.”

The Energy East pipeline would transport crude oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to the refineries and marine terminal in Eastern Canada. The natural gas pipeline running through Carp (and just west of Stittsville) would be converted into an oil pipeline.

Ecology Ottawa opposes this plan and has been active around Stittsville and West Carleton petitioning to stop its construction.

“We’ve knocked on about 6000 doors,” said volunteer Mike Fletcher. “I’d say people who agree with us are well outnumbering people who disagree and think the pipelines are a good idea.”

Fletcher had originally booked a room adjacent to Trans Canada’s information session to tell his group’s side of the story.

However the Carp Agricultural Society rescinded the rental once they learned of his affiliation with Ecology Canada, purportedly for fear of damage to their facility by protesters.

Fletcher believes this reaction was exaggerated and he ensures the group had no intention of disturbing the peace.

“You’re not going to convince the neighbours the pipeline is a bad idea by going loony,” he said. “I know my community. I know it wouldn’t fly.”

A Trans Canada event hosted in Stittsville in October 2013 saw impassioned opposition to the plan. One individual was asked to leave for taking photos and waving a sign that read “Trans Canada lies.”

The event in Carp was a comparatively even-tempered affair. The most overt political statement made by Ecology Ottawa Wednesday wasn’t a sign or a protest song.

Instead it was a Chevy Volt charging out front – a not-so-subtle reminder to the community that clean-energy is a viable alternative.

Energy East flag at the Carp fairgrounds. Photo by Alex Quesnel.
Energy East flag at the Carp fairgrounds. Photo by Alex Quesnel.

10 thoughts on “Conflicting views in Carp over Energy East pipeline”

  1. The pipelines would carry tar sands oil that is diluted with a cocktail of toxic chemicals that make the thick tar flow through the pipeline. There is a clear risk to aquifers when a leak happens. And a leak will happen if TransCanada is allowed to go ahead with its proposed plans.
    The bigger picture is that Canada must move away from fossil fuels and transition to clean energy. Leave the oil in the ground!

  2. Aija Auzina

    Yes we must move away but thats a long term project 50-100 years in the mean time we need the oil now be it by pipeline or trucker both have risks.

    1. “We need the oil now”

      Do we? Is there an oil shortage right now? Are there refineries near here that can’t get oil?

      Or will this result in cheaper fuel prices? Less trucks on the road? More investment in renewable energy?

      I have a suspicion that it’ll only result in more profits for the oil company executives.

    2. If we think that pipelines will eliminate transport by rail and truck we’re fooling ourselves. In addition the oil is not for us. It will be shipped elsewhere. This is not energy security. It’s capitalist greed at our risk.

  3. Bob

    I don’t think most know how how much Canada depends on oil its not just cut and dry as most think many thing outside of cars are made with or in part by oil you cut it off now it would cripple Canada.

  4. Not to mention we may well see shortages of natural gas heating fuel with the loss of this pipeline for clean gas carriage.

    We’ll pay more for gas as a result, but these greedy oil barron lackeys are determined to proceed.

    Too much money at stake for any government to nix this, sadly

  5. The conversion of pipeline use from gas to oil is aimed at getting oil to refineries near deep sea ports to expedite overseas shipments.
    For many decades we have been marketed the clean benefits of natural gas to move away from oil.
    Now all of the investments in gas infrastructure will be exploited for short term oil profits. oil based economy is not sustainable. Do not be fooled: petro dollar economy are only focused on short term profit for oil companies and shareholders. There are no benefits for society or environment.
    Say No to Energy East!

  6. You wanna keep getting our oil from places that do not value human life? Their safety standards are far worse. People die on the job every day. That to me is dirty oil. Canada should not have to rely on the middle east. In fact, I don’t even want our oil sold. It should stay in Canada for the use of all Canadians.

    And where were all you people when the pipeline was coming through my family’s property some 40 years ago! Land right across Goulbourn was sold to the pipeline, and if you didn’t sell your land was expropriated. None of you backed my family when we faced expropriation! I want that pipeline used !!

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