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TransCanada’s Donation to Town Means Silence on Pipeline

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TransCanadaTransCanada Corp. (TRP) provided an Ontario town along the proposed Energy East pipeline route with cash to buy a rescue truck on conditions that include the municipality not comment on the company’s operations.

TransCanada gave Mattawa C$30,000 ($28,200) under 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.

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

“This is a gag order,” said Andrea Harden-Donahue, a campaigner for energy and climate issues with the Council of Canadians, a non-profit organization that advocates for clean water, fair trade and public health care. “These sorts of dirty tricks impede public debate on Energy East, a pipeline that comes with significant risks for communities along the route.”

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