McDonald, Fedeli criticized for Enbridge support
The following is addressed to North Bay Mayor Al McDonald and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli:
As you are both aware, Enbridge is expanding its pipeline into North Bay’s Trout Lake neighbourhood. Signage on Peninsula Road and promotional literature exhorts those of us who are residents to “say yes” and convert to natural gas. This is shocking in the midst of a climate emergency when governments, corporations and individuals must take action to avert an environmental catastrophe.
Enbridge, a company with more than $30 billion in annual revenue, is unable to recoup costs for the rural infrastructure of this 27km expansion, so has secured public money to make it happen.
Additionally, it has obtained approval to extract an approximate $550/year surcharge from each new customer for up to 40 years. This will ensure profit for Enbridge shareholders while luring more people into dependencies on a high-carbon emission source of energy.
Imagine how those investments could be directed instead toward sustainable energy options.
We are extremely concerned that the City of North Bay and the Province of Ontario have supported this expansion. When will we be able to trust that our governments’ actions are based on the health of our planet and people, and our very future?
Mayor McDonald, your and council’s strong opposition to the Energy East Pipeline gave us confidence that our municipal leadership understood the urgency of shifting away from fossil fuels and also of protecting our community’s most precious natural resource, our water.
How disappointing to learn that just one year later, a resolution (#2017-257) was passed to financially support this Enbridge project despite several watercourse crossings and its proximity to Trout Lake, the source of our drinking water.
Of further concern, you have been quoted in the media to say that you look forward to future partnerships with Enbridge. We ask that North Bay amend its strategic plan so that rather than a harmful focus on expanding natural gas, going forward, bringing renewable energy to its citizens is a priority.
Minister Fedeli, Ontario has made a positive and necessary commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bare minimum first step toward this would be to ensure no increased use of fossil fuels.
The Doug Ford government’s Natural Gas Expansion Program and the $8.6 million taxpayer dollars it has provided to Enbridge blatantly contradicts the intention to reduce emissions. We ask that this program be aborted as soon as possible, and funds redirected to expanding renewable energy options.
Our community, our province and our world needs us all to share responsibility for getting off this destructive path.
Minister Fedeli and Mayor McDonald, we implore you to use your influence to encourage our elected officials to take that responsibility seriously. And in the meantime, we hope that Trout Lake residents will do what is right and “say no” to natural gas.
Shirley Jones and Tim Martens
North Shore Road, North Bay