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TransCanada Open House Disrupted in Lachute

Citizens Talk About Local Dangers and Climate Change Implications

by David Gray-Donald

At the Open House (photo: Marie Boisvert)
At the Open House (photo: Marie Boisvert)

TransCanadavs open house in Lachute, QC, was interrupted at around 6 pm on Tuesday September 30th. A group of 10 people began the disruption with a short skit mocking the inability of pipeline companies to respond to spills. The group held up posters naming the towns and dates of nine major recent spills of TransCanada and Enbridge pipelines. After going around in the circle reading out their posters, the group then drew attention to questions they had. Many people in attendence joined in asking TransCanada representatives questions critical of the project until the event ended at 8 pm.

The event was formatted to have people attending visit various tables where TransCanada representatives were ready to talk about  the proposed Energy East pipeline project. Each table had a different theme, such as Economic Impacts, and included literature to take from TransCanada, the National Energy Board (NEB), and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). No seating was available for attendees in the event room.
Pipeline companies recently switched to this format. Previously they hosted town hall styled events with company representatives facing an audience of seated citizens. This often led to citizens hearing each other's criticism of the proposed project. The new event style reduces the possibilities for citizens to hear each other, and increases the ability of the company to communicate its message. The disruption in Lachute challenged this dynamic and brought into focus content TransCanada had avoided, such as climate change.
Citizens groups all over Quebec have coalesced around the campaign and slogan "Coule Pas Chez Nous" (don't spill in our home). As the disruption was happening, a group of people stood on the side of the nearby road displaying the slogan on placards as cars passed by. Others socialized outside the event entrance and handed out informational pamphlets.
As the evening wound down and citizens were discussing how the event had gone, the TransCanada representatives were visible from the parking lot sitting in a circle visible doing the same. As the pipeline company gets better at shaping the public conversation the way it wants, citizens are getting better at demanding accountability and at creating opportunities to talk amongst themselves.

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Topics: Environment

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David Gray-Donald (David Gray-Donald)
montreal and toronto
Member since Septembre 2014


358 words


few comments

This sentence in the first paragraph is missing a ''p''  at companies : ''TransCanada open house in Lachute, QC, was interrupted at around 6 pm on Tuesday September 30th. A group of 10 people began the disruption with a short skit mocking the inability of pipeline comanies to respond to spills''. Also, could you add a picture ?

Thank you!

Corrected and added, thank you!

thanks !

thanks !

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