Ottawa residents want more answers on pipeline
Local city councillor sees benefits
Some Ottawa residents are voicing concerns over plans for a new west-to-east-running pipeline that would go directly through the western part of Ottawa.
Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. announced on Thursday that it plans to move forward with its proposed Energy East Pipeline project.
The pipeline proposal, which still needs regulatory approval, would send 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Western Canada to refineries and export terminals in Eastern Canada.
Judith Cox, who lives across the street from a pumping station that services TransCanada's natural gas pipeline in Stittsville, describes the project as "scary."
Afraid of blowing up
The pumping station is the same one that the company hopes to convert to carry crude oil.
"Looking across the road I just don't feel safe," said Cox.
"I'm afraid of blowing up," she laughed. "Honestly I am."
She's also frustrated that TransCanada hasn't given neighbours a heads up about their plans to go ahead with a crude oil pipeline.
"I really feel that someone should have come talked to me. Someone should have explained what was going on.," said Cox.
Cox's neighbour, Carolyn Clark, wants more information as well.
"What does that do to property values? Are people going to be wanting to buy a house that's right on the line?"
Ben Powless, who works for Ecology Ottawa, has similar concerns.
He said the pipeline would be all risk and no reward.
Councillor sees positives
"We have to be very concerned about the prospect of future spills for our city. For drinking water, for farms lands," said Powless.
The proposed route would run directly through Coun. Scott Moffatt's ward.
Moffatt said that although he understands resident concerns, an oil pipeline would be beneficial for the country.
"It makes sense for the Canadian economy to move in a direction where we're distributing our own oil to our refineries and it's easy to see the benefits nationwide," he said.
Moffatt and a group of councillors are meeting with TransCanada in a couple of weeks to discuss details of the plan and raise resident concerns.