“SaveCanada began as a one-off action in North Bay, Ontario where the route goes through the municipal drinking water source for 54,000 people,...

TransCanada’s proposal to send 1.1 million barrels of oil from Western to Eastern Canada does not come without criticism.

The energy infrastructure corporation announced its East Energy Pipeline project in August which will move crude oil, diluted bitumen and synthetic crude oil over the 4500-km pipeline across Canada to the refineries in Nova Scotia. There it will be used to create asphalt, gasoline, jet and diesel fuel, different types of waxes, plastics and other oil products.

Save Canada, formerly known as the North Bay’s Coalition of Concerned Citizens, invited residents to hear the announcement Aug. 27.

“SaveCanada began as a one-off action in North Bay, Ontario where the [pipeline] route goes through the municipal drinking water source for 54,000 people, in a pipeline built over a generation ago for a different purpose,” SaveCanada spokesperson Yan Roberts said in an email.

At the pipeline announcement in North Bay, SaveCanada volunteers wore blue Navy polo shirts that looked identical to the TransCanada outfit, the only difference was the logo on the shirts. SaveCanada volunteers did this in order to deter community goers in order to explain the ill effects the pipeline will have on the environment.

“The dressing up as SaveCanada idea arose because these Open House events are intentionally very limiting for attendees to see that there are others in their communities with concerns. It’s a very bad format for what is required to be a community consultation,” said Roberts in an email.

SaveCanada began to receive support from climate advocacy groups such as The Yes Men, an organisation dedicated towards impersonating high profile figures to entice change. SaveCanada gives out information on the negative environmental effects the pipeline can create.

TransCanada issued a press video on its website explaining its employees are trained to monitor the pipeline 24/7 for any defects or any faults while it is in use.

“If something occurs along the pipeline, there’s a red flag. They investigate those situations and they have the ability to react very quickly. Incidents do happen,” said TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling.

“What I can say is that as a company we’re committed to making sure that our pipelines are as safe as they possibly can be and we’ll continually try to improve by to make them better and better every day,” said Girling.

This author’s uncle Colin Morano, is a shift manager at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station B. Morano said he does have some concerns about the pipeline.

“My general understanding of it is that there are concerns/risks to the environment with any pipeline due to the potential for leaks/breaks that would result in an oil spill to the natural environment. Such an event is extremely undesirable and could have major detrimental impact depending on where it occurs for example into a lake that supplies drinking water to a community,” said Morano in an email.

“My personal opinion is that unless the pipeline is constructed in such a fashion to ensure the likelihood of a spill/leak is extremely remote for example a double hull pipe. I am not in favour of it,” said Morano in an email.

“The SaveCanada umbrella is open to anyone: from people who want the pipeline stopped, to people who want the tar sands stopped, or just people who want local issued addressed with regards to route selection. All of their opinions are valid,” said Roberts in an email.

“The next steps are simply inspiring others to take some sort of action in their own communities. The light-hearted but effective nature of the action really speaks to people,” said Roberts in an email.

TransCanada will hold community meetings at the Northwoods Motor Inn in Ignace, Ont. Sept. 19, the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium Sept. 24, and the Nipigon Community Centre Sept. 25

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