It appears that there is a campaign to get rural municipalities on the prairies to campaign with the Joint Review Panel to support the Northern Gateway pipeline.
In the past couple of days, after Terrace voted against the pipeline project, four prairie municipalities have filed letters of comment with the Joint Review Panel supporting both Enbridge and the Northern Gateway pipeline.
The communities are Loreburn, Dundurn and Dufferin, all in Saskatchewan and Lac La Biche county in Alberta.
The longest letter comes from Nona Stronski, administrator of Rural Municipality of Loreburn No. 254, a region, according to the letter that has seen a lot of pipeline construction, saying the benefits of having Enbridge pipelines in our municipality has been beneficial in so many areas.
We presently have four pipeline companies who have pipeline running pretty much
from corner to corner through our municipality. They cross the South Saskatchewan River on our west boundary and continue through to the south east corner. The river crossings are always amazing to watch and participate in. ALL efforts are taken to cross the river in such an environmentally safe manner that it has become a zero concern for our council. Enbridge pipeline first came through our municipality in the early 1950’s and their consciousness of river crossing and laying of the pipe through other high risk areas has always been remarkable.
During construction of new pipe installations we have always found that Enbridge goes over the top with regards to road safety issues and restoring road crossings. As we also have a station in our municipality we seem to always have certain upgrades going on and/or integrity digs occurring.
While we see increased traffic during these times we always find the compensation far exceeds the interruption. The one on one contact during the construction is also very much appreciated. We know what is going on, how it will be happening, when and for how long, long before anything
actually occurs. Any special requests we make are always accommodated.
Periods of construction are also hugely beneficial to all the businesses in the surrounding area. The hotels/motels/campgrounds are full to over flowing. The restaurants and services stations are booming. We have even seen new businesses begun specifically to coincide with these times of construction. It has been a win-win situation for the area.
The pipeline companies in our municipality pay 2/3 of the total tax levy of which Enbridge pays the largest portion. I think that speaks volumes as to what that means to our ratepayers. We have the resources available to be able to provide extra services to our ratepayers that many of the municipalities in our surrounding area without pipelines cannot do. We are in the envious position of being able to offer a mill rate considerably lower, in some case half of what our neighbouring municipalities are able to. It has enabled us to keep our equipment up to date and given us the resources to purchase our own road building equipment which in turn has been an added benefit to our ratepayers.
The partnerships that Enbridge has formed within our municipal boundaries are also over and above “any” of the other companies we deal with. They are always called upon to donate to many community projects and always come through. They have assisted in purchasing fire equipment, upgraded the local arena, donated to the local hospital and first responders, assisted financially in a recycling program, etc. They are very community minded and this goes on in other communities surrounding the pipeline.
From the perspective of our municipality we can not say enough good things about having Enbridge pipeline as a ratepayer and corporate partner. If anyone has any concerns regarding seeing a new pipeline come through their area we can only say positive things from our experiences. If anyone has questions we would be open to sharing our experiences with them and invite them to call the office at any time.
Per Vinding, the mayor of Dundurn, Sk, supports the project saying:
We understand that this project would bring substantial employment opportunities for fellow Canadians and with that many dollars would be raised in labour income.
During this time of unease in world regarding financial stability a project such as this is a welcome relief for many people.
The Town of Dundurn is in full support of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project. We hope that this project will be the beginning of a turnaround for our current economic status in the world.
In a fax to the panel, the rural municipality of Dufferin says :
The Council would like to forward their full support of this project. The economic impact this project will have, not just regionally, but nationally, is substantial. There is a need for respective levels of government to provide for their support and subsequent approval of the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project
Again, the Council fully supports and respectfully requests all levels of government support and allow this project to proceed.
Peter Kirylchuk, mayor of Lac La Biche County writes that the town has already benefited from oil field activity, adding the project will provide economic benefit to the province [Alberta] by leading to further growth and diversification of markets.
RM of Dufferin (pdf)
Town of Dundurn Letter of Comment (pdf)
Rural Municipality of Loreburn (pdf)