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Mr. Mulcair, the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence Is As Important As the Pacific Coast

08/28/2014 05:31 EDT | Updated 10/28/2014 05:59 EDT

La Présentation, Qc.

August 21, 2014

Re: TransCanada East pipeline and the NDP platform

Mr. Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the NDP

Sir,

It is with interest that I read the newspaper article where you said "...the north coast of B.C. is not for super tankers..."(1) And the use of the strait between the Pacific Ocean and Kitimat «does not make any sense» when these tankers carry diluted bitumen.

In the name of fairness, I invite you to use the same reasoning to argue against the TransCanada East pipeline to Cacouna, on the shores of the Gulf of St Lawrence. As the proverb says "what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander"; what is wrong for B.C., is wrong for Quebec! You must respect that logic; therein lies your hope to win a majority of seats in our province for the upcoming election of 2015.

Since confederation, history and politics have never been kind to your party in «la belle province». Before the election of 02-05-2011, only Phil Edmonston (in a by-election in 1988) and yourself have managed to get elected under the NDP banner. One has to wonder if those two victories were a "vote d'estime" (a vote of gratefulness for outstanding services!) for people like you and Phil Edmonston? The «vague orange» in Quebec has helped you become the official opposition; if you hope to form the next government, you must not take Quebec votes for granted.

Before 2011, the political game was between the "red machine" of the Liberal party (federal and provincial), and the "blue machine". (I coined those two words in order to refer to the two major political organisations). However, since Riel was hanged (1885), and the conscription crisis (1917), the federal conservatives have lost control of the "blue machine" in Quebec. In 1958, Duplessis put the blue machine at the disposal of Mr. Diefenbaker; the results were 50 conservative members of parliament. In 1984, Mr Mulroney received the support of the blue machine, for "le beau risque"; the results were a stunning defeat for the liberals.

During a Parti Québécois convention of 1991, the party decided to put the "blue machine" at the disposal of the Bloc Québécois; must I remind you of the 1993 election result! 54 MP's from Quebec were elected and they, also, became the official opposition! The elections of 1993 and 2011 have many fascinating parallels!

Just as in B.C., numerous Quebecers do not want a pipeline through which dirty tar sand flows towards foreign shores: we would have no economic advantages, only a handful of jobs, a constant threat to our lakes and streams, pollution, significant risk of leakage, a tremendous quantity of greenhouse gases at both ends of this 4000 km. pipeline, violation of First Nations rights, etc. In other words, Quebecers (this is true also for Ontario!) would assume all the risks, as did happen along the Kalamazoo River in Michigan and in the town of Mayflower in Arkansas, and we would receive no economic benefit.

I often receives requests for financial contributions from four federal parties, including yours. Coincidentally, I have just received emails from Leslie Megan, member of Parliament, and Environment Critic for your party (2). As many Quebecers, my support will be given in accordance with the political programs of the five parties. Your electoral platform must respect «les intérêts supérieures du Québec» "(the un-negotiable interests of Quebec which all parties must protect), a phrase often used by Mr. Robert Bourassa. If you hope to repeat the success of May 2, 2011, I invite you to take a firm stand against the TransCanada East pipeline and you must demand that the National Energy Board hold public hearings that are not mere rubber stamps for the oil industry. Furthermore, your party must insist that the National Energy Board should not exclude any citizens who wishes to be heard; greenhouses gases, at both ends of the pipeline, and climate changes, must also be part of the hearings!

From an economical, ecological and political point of view, the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence is just as important as the Pacific Coast near Kitimat.

Sincerely,

Gérard Montpetit

La Présentation

c.c. Mrs Marie-Claude Morin, Saint Hyacinthe-Bagot Deputy

Mrs Brigitte Sansoucy, vp, NDP Canada

The Members of Parliament, NDP Canada

[1] http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/politique/politique-canadienne/201408/19/01-4793004-la-cote-nord-de-la-c-b-nest-pas-pour-les-superpetroliers-estime-mulcair.php

2] info@ndp.ca e-mails from Megan Leslie, 2014-08-20. In these e-mails in both languages, we are asked to protect our Lakes and rivers ; a contribution to the NDP would help achieve this goal 

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