Monday, April 29, 2013

Payoffs or Donations In Canada for a Tar Sands Pipeline?

A controversy is brewing in Canada over a planned pipeline reversal and expansion construction project 
Click for photo credit.
that will bring petroleum produced through dirty tar sand extraction processes in western Canada to Montreal for refining.  There are many concerned about the safety of the pipeline, particularly after well-known pipeline ruptures that occured in the U.S.  However, one of the controversial issues is the high number of donations given to cities along the pipeline route in Ontario and Quebec.  Take a look at this interactive map from the Montreal Gazette to see the details of these donations.

Questions have been raised whether these gifts were donations or payoffs for local acceptance of the pipeline.  You can read the details about the situation here.  Many large companies make local grants in areas where they are operating.  That is the case that the pipeline company is making.  Yet, some feel that the timing of the donations is ethically problematic given that the pipeline needs local and community approval for the construction.

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