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Dec. 08 2013
On its 4,000-kilometre path across the country, TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East’s pipeline would traverse the traditional territory of 180 different aboriginal communities, each of whom must be consulted and have their concerns accommodated as part of the company’s effort at winning project approval.
The Energy East plan is to bring 1.1 million barrels per day of western crude to eastern Canadian refineries and export terminals; it has been touted by politicians and its proponents as a nation-building exercise, and by industry as providing access to new markets for landlocked crude.
But native leaders want to ensure that they see some benefits from the $12-billion project and they could present a challenging obstacle to its completion if they feel excluded. On Tuesday, First Nations leaders gathering in Gatineau, Que., will launch an effort to devise their own national energy strategy.
Calgary-based TransCanada has hired Phil Fontaine – former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations – to help it win the support of native communities from Alberta to New Brunswick.