Calgary Herald

TransCanad­a Corp. gives Ont. town $30,000

Mattawa agrees to stay mum on company projects


TransCanad­a Corp. gave an Ontario town along its proposed Energy East pipeline route money for a rescue truck with a condition the city abstain from commenting on the company’s operations.

Mattawa received $30,000 as part of its community engagement program, according to an agreement appended to the agenda of the town council’s June 23 meeting. The city agreed to “not publicly comment on TransCanad­a’s operations or business projects” for five years as part of the agreement, the document showed.

TransCanad­a plans to apply this year for a permit for Energy East, the 1.1 million barrel per day pipeline that would supply crude to the Atlantic coast and the Gulf Coast as well as European and Asian markets. The line would consist of a converted natural gas line that passes near Mattawa as well as new pipe installed farther east.

A TransCanad­a spokesman said if Mattawa officials had expressed a concern the contract would limit the town’s ability to take part in a “full and open discussion” about the project, “we would have removed it.”

“The language in the agreement was designed to prevent municipali­ties from feeling obligated to make public comments on our behalf about projects that did not impact them and about which they had no experience or knowledge,” Davis Sheremata said in an email.

“We are looking at amending our contract language to ensure communitie­s know they and their staff retain the full right to participat­e in an open and free dialogue about our projects.”

Mattawa Mayor Dean Backer wasn’t available to comment on the decision when contacted at his office. The money for Mattawa will be used to buy a new rescue vehicle for first aid services along the Trans-Canada, near the community about 300 kilometres northwest of Ottawa, according to the agreement.

The contract was drafted in January after being negotiated for at least two years, said David Burke, an administra­tor with the town of 2,100 people, which has already received the money.

The agreement was approved by the mayor and six councillor­s, Burke said.

Mattawa agreed to 10 items as part of the deal, including that the TransCanad­a name appear on the truck.

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