Author Archives: Alex Paterson

TownHall - Risk of the EnergyEast Pipeline to St Norbert and South Winnipeg

town-hall-mtgFebruary 25th - 6:30 PM

St. Norbert Community Centre Hall (3450 Pembina Highway)


Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition will present on the risks the Energy East Pipeline holds for Winnipeggers and their property, especially the citizens of St Norbert and the rest of the South End of the City.

Presentations will include discussion of risks associated with:

- Leaks into Waterways
- Explosion Risks
- Soil Contamination Risks
- Climate Change
- Worker Health and Safety
- Chemical Exposure
- Insurance and Clean Up Liabilities
- Economic Benefits and Risks

There will be a Q & A session after the presentations as well as time for a facilitated discussion for community members to discuss among themselves what they’d like to do.

Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition will be on hand to support residents in expressing their concerns to public officials after the meeting.

Our event on facebook is here.

Application Drive Kicks off as EnergyEast Pipeline NEB Application Process Begins

February 2, 2014: For immediate release

Energy East Pipeline NEB Application Process Begins

Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition is holding an application drive as the Energy East Pipeline review process opens on February 3rd.

WINNIPEG – A Citizen’s group has launched an intervener application drive as the National Energy Board’s application process opens across Canada. Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition (MEJC) will be holding a drop-in workshop from 12-4PM on Saturday, February 7th to assist Manitobans apply to voice their concerns about the Energy East Pipeline. The workshop will take place at the HIVE at The University of Winnipeg.

“On Feb 7th we are inviting all Manitobans to come out and register their desire to participate in the national conversation about this important project,” said Erin Keating, member of MEJC. “We will be helping people write their applications online and making sure that they understand how to demonstrate that they are ‘directly affected’ by this project.”
In the wake of omnibus Bill C-38, the National Energy Board (NEB) began requiring Canadians to apply to participate in pipeline reviews.  Individuals must now demonstrate that they are either ‘directly affected’ by a project proposal, or that they have expertise relevant to the review process. Since the new rules were introduced, citizens’ groups across the country have criticized the new rules as undemocratic and designed to serve the interests of the oil industry.


“The NEB, under direction from the Federal Government, is trying to limit the amount of public participation in reviewing pipeline proposals,” said Alex Paterson, member of MEJC. “The Northern Gateway process had over 5000 people come out to participate in opposition to the pipeline. They don’t want Canadians to stand up for clean water or for the climate. They want to rubber stamp pipelines for the Conservative government. So they changed the rules in the oil industry’s favour.”
“To date, the NEB is refusing to review the full effects of the tar sands in its review of the pipeline,” said Dennis LeNeveu, retired physicist. “I am concerned that despite the overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, the NEB is going to reject any application from someone who wants to discuss the ecocide caused by the tar sands which this pipeline is going to help perpetuate.”
The Manitoba Government has largely remained silent on this issue even as the deadline for applications looms – closing on March 3rd 2015 – despite provinces such as Quebec and Ontario voicing concerns about climate.
“We have one month to get in all the applications for opposing this pipeline in the only environmental review this project will see,” said Paterson. “The provincial government has been silent on this issue so grassroots citizens are going to have to speak for Manitoba instead. We were hoping the province would be leaders in opposing reckless oil development, instead we are doing it ourselves.”


 For more information, contact:

Alex Paterson, Spokesperson for Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition – No Energy East Campaign
204-298-2250 (cell)
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Feb 7 - Workshop - Oppose and Intervene in the National Energy Board Process for Energy East


Concerned abounerd-laptop-lit the risks of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline pumping Tar sands - dilbit - across our watershed and city? 

Worried about its effects on our climate?

Please join us at this event where we will:
- Help people write their intervenor and commentor applications.
- Teach people about the pipeline and how to go door-to-door to discuss it
- Help citizens engage with their elected officials about the pipeline.
- Teach creative protest tactics.

Join us from Noon till 4 in the HIVE at the University of Winnipeg.

The HIVE is located in the northeast corner of Lockhart Hall on the main Campus of the University.

Find the event on Facebook here:

OP-ED in WFP - Response to Peter Watson, Chair of the National Energy Board

NEB must review oilsands

Last July, Manitoba flooded. This province was swamped by rains and rising waters for days, drowning fields, washing out highways and driving hundreds of people from their homes.

The experience here was part of the widespread effects of what is being called the warmest year on record: wildfires across Canada; a record drought in California; a typhoon striking the Philippines for the third time in as many years. This is why the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition, a coalition of Manitobans and community groups committed to defending the lands, air, and waters, has called for the National Energy Board to review the full climate impacts of the Energy East pipeline.

The global climate campaign supports the call as we know we can’t have a safe climate and grow the oilsands with projects like Energy East.

In claiming that a full climate review is outside the NEB’s jurisdiction, Peter Watson (Energy debate is complicated, Dec. 16) chairman of the NEB, is passing the buck. Problem is, there is nowhere left to pass it. The federal government gutted all legislation protecting the environment with Bills C-38 and C-45. They were explicit this was done to speed approvals for pipelines.

The NEB is now the only federal agency with a mandate to evaluate interprovincial pipelines. It is plain absurdity that the only body that can review this project claims it cannot review its full impact. The NEB’s mandate is to determine whether projects like Energy East are in “the national interest.” How can we as Canadians possibly believe it is not in our national interest to ensure that the full impacts of this project are considered?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, comprising the best scientific minds in the world with respect to climate change, has told us we need to rapidly transition off of fossil fuels. Meanwhile, the oilsands have become Canada’s fastest growing source of carbon emissions. Our government’s refusal to take meaningful climate action is making Canada an international embarrassment. If developed at the pace and scale proposed by industry, and desired by the Harper government, the oilsands would eclipse all the emissions from U.S. coal power in history.

Energy East is key to this expansion. It would expand oilsands production by between 650,000 to 750,000 barrels per day, adding upwards of 32 million tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere — the same as adding seven million cars to Canada’s roads. Building Energy East is a leap in the opposite direction from where we need to go.

We’re not the only ones who think this. Over the past month, it has become clear that the NEB has lost its credibility in the public eye because it refuses to consider the full climate impacts of pipelines. Over 60,000 individuals have already sent messages to the NEB demanding a full climate review of Energy East.

The events that unfolded on Burnaby Mountain in past weeks are the most recent example of the public’s dwindling faith in the NEB. Many of those arrested cited the NEB’s silence on climate as their motivation to risk arrest.

The NEB has already amended its “list of issues” for the Energy East review to include risks related to marine shipping, a downstream impact caused by the pipeline. The board should just as easily amend its “list of issues” to include upstream and downstream climate impacts — especially because the NEB’s mandate includes reviewing the upstream economic impacts of oil sands developments of the project. It is only fair to include climate impacts too.

According to the International Energy Agency, for Canada to meet its international commitments to limit warming to two degrees, oilsands production must be capped at three million barrels per day. Within this limit, proposed pipeline projects like Energy East would never be needed. With the current falling price of oil and increasing provincial and international action on climate change — including

U.S. President Barak Obama’s climate test on the Keystone XL pipeline — reviewing the full climate impact of Energy East is necessary to judge whether this pipeline is in our “national interest.”

Climate change is here. It is impacting Manitobans already. History will judge us by how we respond to this, and whether NEB chairman Peter Watson likes to admit it or not, in Canada this means reviewing projects like Energy East on their full climate impact and rejecting them if they, as Barak Obama says, “exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”


Alex Paterson is an organizer with Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition’s No Energy East campaign. Cameron Fenton works across Canada as’s Canadian tar sands organizer.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 16, 2014 A9

Dec 8th Media Conference: Urging the NEB to Review Tar Sands

On December 8th, we publicly launched our open letter to the National Energy Board along with allies at the University of Winnipeg.

Watch the full press conference here:

An Open Letter to the National Energy Board on the Energy East Pipeline.

Energy East Video Pack

Want to get up to date on Energy East’s risk to Manitoba?

Watch our video pack.

Energy East 101 - Introduction by Council of Canadians.

Energy East 401 - Dennis LeNeveu of No Energy East Manitoba and the Council of Canadians discusses the risks of Energy East to Manitoba. 30 min in depth analysis.

TransCanada Open House in Kenora: August 12, 2014