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Energy East: an important project for the competitiveness of Greater Montréal's industries

Montréal, October 6, 2015 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal considers that the TransCanada Energy East Pipeline is in the economic interest of the Greater Montréal business community and recommends that the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) support its development. The Board of Trade tabled its brief yesterday within the context of the consultations conducted by the CMM on this project. Its message is clear: this project will have a positive impact on Greater Montréal's refining and petrochemical sectors and on the entire value chain arising from them.

"The Energy East project will contribute to consolidating the activities of Quebec refineries. This is a highly competitive market and six refineries have already closed their doors in the North American Northeast since 2008, including the Shell refinery in Montréal in 2010. The Quebec petrochemical industry, most of whose companies are located in Greater Montréal, will profit from the consolidation of refining activities. In East Island Montréal alone, there are nearly fifty companies and over 3,500 well-paid direct jobs. In addition, the pipeline construction phase will generate thousands of jobs and many business opportunities for Greater Montréal businesses, which could become the project's suppliers," declared Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

"By allowing increased access to Canadian oil, the Energy East project will improve the country's balance of trade. At the present time, over 90% of Quebec's crude oil supply comes from abroad, particularly from various countries that could experience periods of political or economic instability. It is in our collective interest to harvest the natural resources present in our own country, a reliable source that generates major economic spinoffs for Canada," Michel Leblanc pointed out.

"Questions of safety and environmental protection are legitimate and very important. However, transportation by pipeline is one of the safest ways to deliver oil, one of the basic inputs of our economy. The Board of Trade's support is based on TransCanada's commitment to act in complete transparency, to take the appropriate measures to minimize the risks of spills and, finally, to have the necessary insurance funds to deal with any incident," Michel Leblanc added.

"The Board of Trade clearly adds its voice to those who recommend that the fight against climate change be accomplished by efforts to reduce oil consumption, rather than a debate on the source of the oil we use. Blocking the Energy East project would have only a minimal impact on GHG emissions, because the oil consumed in Quebec would simply come from elsewhere, as is currently the case," Michel Leblanc explained.

"Finally, the Board of Trade invites TransCanada to get involved in the community through structuring investments that go beyond the Energy East project. We have proposed that TransCanada ally with oil-producing companies that will pass through the pipeline in order to deploy an investment fund in Quebec to support the creation and growth of businesses active in green technologies applied to the energy sector. This would be an effective way to strengthen Greater Montréal's business base while improving the ecological footprint of the Canadian petroleum industry in the long term," Michel Leblanc concluded.

The Board of Trade's brief can be consulted by clicking here.

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to businesses of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.

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Michelle LLambias Meunier
Senior Advisor, Public Relations, and Press Attaché
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4042
Twitter: @chambremontreal
Follow the discussion: #ccmmqcca

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