January 31, 2008
Attached for your information are self-explanatory copies of letters between TransCanada lawyer Line Lacasse and Lubicon advisor Fred Lennarson. After thinking about it for awhile -- during which time TransCanada proceeded with its application to the newly-formed Alberta Utilities Commission for authority to build a new jumbo gas pipeline across unceded Lubicon Territory -- TransCanada officials have decided that they are not willing to alter their "project timelines" by suspending their Utilities Commission application until they'd answered Lubicon questions and dealt with Lubicon environmental and other concerns.
In the meantime such energy giants as Shell and Suncor -- who need about 750 cubic feet of relatively clean natural gas and 4-5 barrels of fresh water to wring one barrel of relatively dirty tar sands oil out of two tons of gooey northern terrafirma -- and in the process produce three times the carbon emissions of a conventional oil well and forever poison huge volumes of precious fresh water that can then never again be used for anything else -- have weighed in with submissions to the Utilities Commission in support of the TransCanada application.
TransCanada President Kvisle has acknowledged that using enough valuable natural gas to heat 5 million homes is probably not the best commercial use of relatively clean natural gas but, he says, it's necessary right now to "feed" the production of tar sands oil. "New technologies", Mr. Kvisle says, will eventually reduce the amount of natural gas needed by companies such as Suncor.
In an equally disturbing related development, Bruce Power -- a 3,800 employee operator of six nuclear reactors in Ontario -- has bought out the controversial 6 billion dollar proposal to build a nuclear power generating plant west of Lubicon Territory -- not far from the "energy corridor" through Lubicon Territory that TransCanada is proposing to use for their new jumbo gas pipeline. Predictably in a colonial set-up, Bruce Power is majority-owned by TransCanada and Saskatoon-based Cameco Corp. Cameco is the largest "investor-owned" uranium mining firm in the world and produces 20% of the the world's supply of uranium.
How convenient and potentially profitable for TransCanada if perhaps environmentally disastrous for the inhabitants of the planet.
There can be little question that the unspecified "new technologies" Mr. Kvisle has is mind is highly problematic nuclear power so that the natural gas can be sold -- as well as the tar sands oil -- instead of having to be used to produce tar sands oil (and in the process of course sticking Albertans with the resultant toxic accumulating nuclear waste and the meltdown risk).
There is equally little question that TransCanada plans to use the same so-called "energy corridor" to carry the power produced by the proposed new nuclear plant.
Lubicon supporters can voice their opposition to these developments by writing to the Chairman of the new Alberta Utilities Commission and the President of TransCanada and demanding -- as a first step -- that TransCanada immediately suspend its application to the Alberta Utilities Board to build this new jumbo pipeline, at least until Lubicon questions have been answered and Lubicon environmental and other concerns addressed.
The proposed pipeline is called the North Central Corridor Pipeline. It's Utilities Commission Application No. is 1551990.
Willie Grieve will be the Chair of the new Alberta Utilities Commission effective February 01. 2008. His contact information is:
Alberta Utilities Commission
Fifth Avenue Place
4th Floor, 425 - 1st Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 3L8
Mr. Grieve does not yet have a posted email address. For the moment emails can be sent to Mr. Grieve in care of Acting Chair Carolyn Dahl Rees. Ms.Dahl Rees' email address is
(If Mr. Grieves email address follows the pattern used at the Utilities Commission, his email address effective February 1st will be email@example.com.)
Harold N. Kvisle is the President and Chief Executive Officer of TransCanada Corporation. His contact information is:
President and Chief Executive Officer
TransCanada Pipelines Limited
450 - 1st Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 5H1
Mr. Kvisle's email address is apparently a state secret. If it follows the pattern used at TransCanada, it would be firstname.lastname@example.org. He can, however, be reached through his "Associate" Janna Leberge. Janna Leberge's email address is
Letter originally on Lubicon Lake Indian Nation Lettterhead
Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
P.O. Box 6731
Peace River, Alberta T8S 1S5
Telephone (780) 629-3945
Fax: (780) 629-3939
January 25, 2008
Senior Legal Counsel
Energy, Operations and Engineering Law
TransCanada Pipelines Limited VIA FACSIMILE
450 - 1st Street, S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2P 5H1
Dear Ms. Lacasse:
RE: North Central Corridor Pipeline Application
Your letter of January 24th arrived by fax yesterday. I have consulted the Lubicon people and been instructed to respond as follows.
Although the situation has now been complicated by TransCanadas draft Memorandum of Understanding effectively denying unceded Lubicon land rights and thus posing a prior question that must be dealt with first, repeated Lubicon requests for answers to questions regarding pipeline construction and operation have never been answered by TransCanada despite repeated promises by TransCanada representatives that those questions would be answered by someone they would bring to a subsequent meeting. These promises were made again at a meeting the week before TransCanada filed the pipeline application accompanied by false public claims that "extensive consultations" had been held and "no objections raised".
The Lubicon Lake Indian Nation rejects TransCanadas notion that there is no relationship between TransCanadas application to proceed with construction of a major pipeline through unceded Lubicon Territory and TransCanadas so-called "engagement" with the Lubicon people to allegedly provide the Lubicon people with information about the project, to seek information about potential Lubicon concerns and to develop appropriate mitigation measures. These are all matters that potentially impact project design and plans that must perforce be dealt with prior to seeking project approvals. TransCanadas so-called "engagement program" is clearly not a sincere effort to inform the Lubicon people about the project, to hear Lubicon concerns and to develop mitigation measures but is rather only a transparent legal strategy obviously designed to fend off any possible legal, regulatory or political challenges to TransCanada proceeding as it pleases with the proposed project.
The Lubicon Lake Nation rejects TransCanadas claim that TransCanada "was not aware of any specific concerns with respect to potential impacts" at the time the application was made when only a week earlier TransCanada representatives had again promised to bring someone to a meeting with the Lubicon people who could answer specific Lubicon questions about pipeline construction and operation. TransCanada officials clearly knew this claim was false when they made it.
You say TransCanada must meet its project timelines whatever the Lubicon people think and therefore TransCanada cannot agree to suspend its pipeline application until Lubicon concerns are satisfied. The response of the Lubicon people is that they are the aboriginal owners of the land that TransCanada wishes to violate with this huge new pipeline and TransCanada can either deal with Lubicon concerns prior to proceeding with provincial project approvals or find some alternate route for the pipeline around unceded Lubicon Territory.
ORIGINAL SIGNED BY
F. M. Lennarson
cc: Lubicon Chief and Council
Don Popowich, Alberta Utilities Commission
attach: January 24
Letter originally on TransCanada Pipelines letterhead
In business to deliver
TransCanada Pipeline Tower
450 -1st Street S.W.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 5H1
January 24, 2008
Fredric M. Lennarson
Dear M. Lennarson:
RE: North Central Corridor Pipeline Application and Lubicon Nation Engagement
Following our discussions last week, this letter is in response to the Lubicon Nation request that NGTL suspend the application for the North Central corridor (NCC) pipeline, filed with the Alberta Energy and Utilities Commission ( now the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC)) on November 20, 2007, until it applies to the Lubicon Nation and get their consent in the form of a non-objection letter.
NGTL understands that there is a jurisdictional dispute between the Lubicon Nation and the federal and provincial govenrments over the land on which the NCC pipeline would be constructed. Through the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, NGTL and other industry members encourage governments to work with First Nations on a government to government basis to address land issues.
With respect to its NCC application, NGTL has implemented its established regulatory engagement program which incorporates regulatory requirements supplemented by its own aboriginal policy. It has met with First Nations, including the Lubicon Nation, to provide information about the project, to seek information about potential concerns of the project and to develop, where appropriate, mitigaton measures to address the concerns.
On November 20, 2007, NGTL filed its NCC application to meet its project timelines. At that time, NGTL was not aware of any specific concerns by the Lubicon Nation with respects to potential impacts of the NCC proposed pipeline route. However, NGTL expected to continue its engagement with the Lubicon Nation in the event that any issues or concerns arose.
NGTL is committed to continue to discuss potential concerns of the NCC application that the Lubicon Nation may have as well as economic development opportunities that may arise. For example, NGTL expects that some opportunities with respect to clearing of the line will be available. However, NGTL cannot agree to suspend its application until the Lubicon Nation provides a non-objection letter to the NCC project.
Please do not hesitate to contact Rob Kendel at 403-920-7390 email@example.com or the undersigned at 403-920-6144 firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how to pursue our engagement with the Lubicon Nation on the NCC project.
TRANSCANADA PIPELINES LIMITED
Original Signed by
Senior Legal Counsel
Energy, Operations & Engineering Law
c: Rob Kendel
fol-request at masses.tao.ca