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Mayor reacts to Energy East

'It was always about our drinking water'
McDonald al Headshot turl 2017
North Bay Mayor Al McDonald. Photo by Jeff Turl.

As of Thursday, October 5th, 2017, the Energy East Pipeline project is no more.

The Energy East Pipeline, was planned to go underneath Trout Lake through a natural gas pipeline.

See the related story: TransCanada says it's cancelling Energy East, Eastern Mainline pipeline projects

This was a concern to many citizens, including Mayor Al McDonald,  as Trout Lake is the main source of drinking water for North Bay. 

“That message was loud and clear,” says Mayor Al McDonald, whose role it was to convey the citizens’ concerns publically.

“I could be at the grocery store, I could be at the coffee shop, and people would constantly stop or say to me ‘protect our drinking water’. So if there was a message that I heard a thousand times out there, probably more like ten thousand times, it was ‘you need to protect our drinking water.’”

TransCanada says it's canceling plans for the Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects.

The Calgary-based company said previously that it was suspending its efforts to get regulatory approvals for the mega projects.

“At the end of the day, TransCanada canceled the energy east,” says McDonald,

“We don’t take any joy in whatever decision they decided to take, our concern was always just the drinking water.”

Meantime locally, Northwatch project coordinator Brennain Lloyd called TransCanada's announcement "very welcome news" after more than four years of effort to see the project ended.

"It's a very good day for us locally, and all along the pipeline route, and it's absolutely good news from a climate perspective," she stated in an email to  

"We can now refocus efforts on other climate threats, and on working to reduce our climate impacts."

Lloyd adds the Energy East project was opposed locally because of its climate impacts as well as the risk to water bodies and land crossed by the pipeline posed by the high likelihood of pipeline rupture.

Hannah Knight

About the Author: Hannah Knight

Born and raised in North Bay, Hannah is artistic, outgoing and has enthusiasm for journalism as well as a passion for photography
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