The head of a national landowners group is in New Brunswick this week to talk to residents about their rights with respect to a proposed pipeline through the province.
TransCanada Corporation's proposed west-east pipeline has yet to enter the regulatory process, but might eventually run all the way from the Quebec border to Saint John.
Dave Core, CEO of the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations, said people need to work together to get a fair deal.
'These landowners need to work together so they can level the playing field and negotiate an iron clad contract to protect their property.'- David Core, Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations
Core describes his group as "pro-pipeline, pro-oil," but said it is also supportive of property rights, including the right to say no to a bad pipeline deal.
TransCanada Corp. is already offering $1,000 to survey and test property in New Brunswick.
Philippe Cannon, a spokesperson for the company, said the money is fair payment for that permission, adding "the vast majority" of landowners approached so far have agreed to the survey.
"There is a great deal of respect from TransCanada for all the landowners along this project," he said.
"Yes we do go on people's lands to survey lands, but the document that they sign, when they give us the access to the land, only is strictly for the land surveying."
The meetings will be held:
- October 21 - Central Kings Recreation Centre, 110 Titusville Road, Titusville.
- October 22 - Lions Club, Route 10, Coles Island.
- October 23 - Royal Canadian Legion, Chipman.
Money a persuasion tactic, says landowners group
Cannon said TransCanada Corp. has agreements with about 60 thousand landowners in North America.
"It's important for people to know that TransCanada deals with all people the same, whether they're part of an organization or represent themselves," said Cannon.
However, Core said people should be wary of agreeing to a survey, because TransCanada Corp. will present the land assessments to the National Energy Board.
"This is all part of the approval process, and that's why they use the persuasion of $1,000 to get you to sign this agreement," he said. "So you already opened the door for a pipeline to be enforced on your land and for you to be expropriated.
"These landowners need to work together so they can level the playing field and negotiate an iron clad contract to protect their property," said Core.
TransCanada Corp. is expected to file its regulatory application with the National Energy Board in 2014, said Cannon, which will include the proposed final route for the pipeline. The company anticipates it will take 24 months to move through the process.
The proposal includes converting roughly 3,000 kilometres of natural gas pipeline on its existing Canadian Mainline route so it can carry crude oil.
The company would also construct 1,400 kilometres of new pipeline to carry crude oil into Saint John, where it will end at the Canaport LNG terminal.