Ottawa-Based Groups Shocked at TransCanada ‘Dirty Tactics’ Campaign

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After leaked documents exposed a TransCanada plan to attack organizations and municipalities opposed to the controversial Energy East pipeline, many of those groups signalled their intention to not be silenced by TransCanada.

The documents highlighting a strategy to promote the Energy East pipeline by undertaking a pseudo-grassroots campaign were released earlier on Greenpeace’s website. They document TransCanada’s intention to use third-party voices to discredit ‘opponents’, including the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace, and Ecology Ottawa, by conducting research, putting pressure on opposition groups, and doing and saying things “when TransCanada can’t.”

TransCanada plans to host a community session between 4pm and 8pm at the North Grenville Municipal Centre, 285 County Road 44, where representatives of many of the groups named in the document will attend to publicly confront the company, with flyers, banners and signs.

“This is an important opportunity to highlight that residents in Kemptville don’t want this pipeline to be built. TransCanada says they’re in Kemptville to hear from the public, but they’ve shown that they’re not interested in facing concerned residents,” noted Chris Weissflog, a member of Sustainable North Grenville.

“We’re shocked and appalled that one of the richest oil companies in the world would plot to attack a small environmental organization working to protect local rivers. TransCanada has shown that they’re not interested in addressing concerns about the pipeline, they’re just out to shoot the messenger” signalled Ben Powless, Pipeline Campaigner with Ecology Ottawa.

The Council of Canadians has just completed an Atlantic Canada tour along the proposed pipeline route. Climate and Energy Campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue contends “Despite TransCanada’s heavy handed advertising and PR tactics, people are recognizing the risks to their land, waterways, health and our shared climate. There is a growing wall of opposition to this pipeline that is all risk and little reward for Canadians.”

“Not only does the Energy East pipeline represent a threat to communities along the route, it would also be a climate disaster,” noted Lisa Pepper of the 350.org Ottawa Chapter. “The extra tar sands emissions from building this pipeline would be the same as restarting Ontario’s coal plants. Our climate cannot afford that.”


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