Huge reserves of energy are trapped in Alberta’s oil sands in the form of a thick tar-like substance called bitumen. A number of pipeline projects have been proposed as a way of unlocking this ‘black gold’ and getting it to market.
The most ambitious of these projects is the Energy East Pipeline, proposed by the company TransCanada. It would involve moving a diluted form of the bitumen (dilbit) eastward across the prairies, Ontario, and Quebec to ports on the East Coast.
TransCanada claims the pipeline risks are minimal, and that the project would be beneficial for Canada. Environmental and Indigenous advocacy groups among others believe the risks attached to the project outweigh the potential gains.
Exactly one year ago, on Feb. 23, 2015, the Wilderness Committee, Manitoba Eco-Network, and Climate Change Connection, along with the University of Winnipeg, sponsored a public forum, and panel discussion devoted to educating Manitobans about Energy East. It was held in the University of Winnipeg’s Eckhardt-Grammatteé Hall.
The panelists included then University of Winnipeg Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Affairs Wab Kinew, retired bio-physicist and pipeline specialist Dennis LeNeveu, Canadian Mennonite University Political Studies and Economics instructor James Magnus-Johnston, and University of Winnipeg Department of Geography Associate Professor Ian Mauro.
The free event was moderated by Mary Agnes Welch, who at the time was Public Policy reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.
The audio was recorded and prepared by CKUW 95.9 FM News Director Michael Welch. Click on the play button below to listen now: