Does the left hand know what right hand is doing? Enbridge donates $7,500 to Fire Department as city questions pipeline expansion.

September 17, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. Enbridge Pipelines turned over a cheque for $7500 to the Burlington Fire Department as part of the corporations Safe Community Program. The funds will be used to equip a new simulation lab, which will be accessible by all of the regional departments including emergency planning crews. Some of the new equipment includes computers, software and training gear. 

Fire department accepts a donation from the company whose pipeline plans the city opposes. How did that happen?

“We are pleased to support the fire department in Burlington because they help keep our community safe,” said Ken Hall, Senior Advisor, Community Relations, Enbridge. “The new simulation lab will help firefighters and emergency planning crews be better prepared to respond to urgent situations.”  

The Enbridge pipeline cuts across the rural part of Burlington. Should there be a leak or a break in that line – which is more than 40 years old – much of the water that runs off the escarpment would be threatened.

One of those urgent situations could be a break or a leak in Enbridge’s Line 9 which cuts right across Burlington between Side roads 1 and 2.

In her day my Mother called statements like that whoppers.In a statement Enbridge said: “The safety of the people who live and work in communities where Enbridge operates remains the company’s highest priority. That’s why Enbridge is proud to support organizations that are focused on community safety.”  In her day my Mother called statements like that “whoppers”.

In November 2012, Enbridge filed an application with the National Energy Board asking the board to approve the reversal of the segment of Line 9 between North Westover, Ont. and Montreal, Qué. in addition to requesting an expansion of the entire Line 9 capacity from Sarnia, Ont. to Montreal and a revision to the Line 9 Rules and Regulations Tariff to allow transportation of heavy crude.

Enbridge has already obtained approval to reverse the pipeline’s flow for the section running between Sarnia and North Westover, in south-western Ontario.

“Upon review of Enbridge’s application the city continues to be concerned that the issues we have previously raised are not adequately addressed,” At its April 8 meeting, City Council passed a resolution directing staff to request participation rights in Enbridge Pipelines Inc. Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project application was passed. 

The city  was granted permission from the National Energy Board to submit a letter of comment, which the city did on Aug. 6, 2013.

Burlington, along with just about every other community the pipeline passes through, opposes the Enbridge plans.  In its comments to the National Energy Board that will be holding hearings on the application Enbridge has made to reverse the flow of Line 9 and to increase the volume of Alberta bitumen through the line Burlington said: “Upon review of Enbridge’s application the city continues to be concerned that the issues we have previously raised are not adequately addressed,” said Scott Stewart, general manager of development and infrastructure. “We want more than just assurances that our residents and natural environment will be protected.”

The city’s letter of comment requests that further analysis and review is done in the following areas:

Enbridge’s overall approach to minimizing the likelihood of a release

In the event of a release, that an effective and coordinated response plan is in place  This plan must leverage the capabilities of local emergency response teams

Enbridge’s accountability, both financially and operationally, for any event.

 As part of the City of Burlington’s letter of comment, resolutions from Halton Regional Council and the Town of Oakville were submitted. Also included in the submission were the notes from a community meeting held in February.  “The community raised a number of concerns at this meeting with Enbridge, and we felt it was important to share them with the NEB as they review Enbridge’s application,” said Scott Stewart.

Right through the Escarpment. Will the fire department use the Enbridge donation to figure out how they will get onto this land to soak up the oil if there is a leak or a break in a line that is 40 years old?

Has Burlington harmed its credibility in accepting the Enbridge donation?  Some municipalities chose not to accept donations which Enbridge is apparently handing out to anyone with an outstretched hand.  Is Enbridge doing to Burlington what colonial Canadians did to the native population – got a lot of land for some coloured beads and cases of whiskey?

Are we in 40 pieces of silver territory?

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