Saskatchewan’s premier is firing back at Montreal area mayors after they spoke out against the Energy East pipeline on Thursday.
The Montreal Metropolitan Community represents 82 municipalities. On Thursday it said it opposes TransCanada’s project, and will defend that position at Quebec’s environmental impact and National Energy Board hearings.
Denis Coderre, Montreal’s mayor and head of the group, said the decision was unanimous and that the environment risks of a spill far outweigh any economic benefits.
Brad Wall had a sharp response, saying in a statement it was a “sad day for our country” that the mayors were being “parochial” about the project, and that it would benefit all of Canada including the Montreal municipalities.
He said the people in those municipalities will benefit from about $10 billion in equalization payments, which the Canadian energy sector and western Canada have supported for almost a decade.
“Is it too much to expect that these Quebec municipal leaders would respond to this reality with generous support for a pipeline that supports the very sector that has supported them,” Wall said in a statement.
Wall tweeted a link to the full statement saying, “I trust Montreal area mayors will politely return their share of $10B in equalization supported by west”.
— Brad Wall (@PremierBradWall) January 21, 2016
You can read the full text of his statement on Facebook as well.
“This is a sad day for our country when leaders from a province that benefits from being part of Canada can be this parochial about a project that would benefit all of Canada, including these Quebec municipalities.
“Pipelines are a safe and environmentally-friendly way to transport oil – certainly safer and more environmentally-friendly than rail.
“The constituents of Quebec municipalities will benefit to the tune of $10 billion in equalization payments this year. For the better part of the last decade the western Canadian energy sector and western Canadian taxpayers have supported a great portion of these transfer payments as well as the Canadian economy.
“Is it too much to expect that these Quebec municipal leaders would respond to this reality with generous support for a pipeline that supports the very sector that has supported them?”