So I guess there’s an oil pipeline in Montreal. Up until now, it has sent oil from Montreal East to Ontario through a pipeline owned by Enbridge. Now they want to extend the pipeline west and reverse the flow of oil east. That means that the pipeline would send crude oil from Western Canada to Montreal through major cities like Toronto, Hamilton and Kingston. Not only that, they want to increase the amount of oil sent through the pipeline from 240,00 to 300,000 barrels per day.
Montreal doesn’t have the best infrastructure, to put it nicely. Remember the sinkhole in the middle of Ste Catherine? How about the river on McTavish Street last year? The poor soul forced to body board her way down sure as hell doesn't.
Here’s what’s really scary, Montrealers: the pipeline crosses Rivère des Prairies, Mille Îles and the Ottawa River, which are all used to provide drinking water to people in and around Montreal. If the pipeline breaks or leaks, oil could contaminate the water supply of over 2 million in the Montreal region. That’s not to mention the devastating consequences for the environment and wildlife that live in the area. For the moment, Enbridge hasn’t said exactly how they would respond to a leak.
Enbridge has probably learned their lesson though. In 2010 one of their pipelines spilled oil in Michigan so they shouldn’t take safety lightly.
The main argument for the pipeline is that it's going to protect thousands of jobs and the industry. Companies like Suncor and Valero are interested in the pipeline because it would allow them to use North American oil in their refineries which is cheaper than offshore oil.
To deal with issues, the National Energy Board is holding four days of hearings at the Palais de Congrès. The point of the hearings is to listen to reviews of the project. The NEB is supposed to make up their mind by next spring.