Was it a bribe or good faith financial deal?
You see Mattawa is located on the proposed Energy East pipeline route and Bloomberg.com is reporting the money is to ensure the municipality not speak out against the oil companies operations..
The money was doled out under TransCanada’s community engagement program. In order to qualify the town council’s agreed at a June council meeting not to publicly comment on TransCanada’s operations for five years.
Andrea Harden-Donahue is not impressed with the deal. A member of the Council of Canadians, a non-profit organization that advocates for clean water, fair trade and public health care, she says “this is a gag order. These sorts of dirty tricks impede public debate on Energy East, a pipeline that comes with significant risks for communities along the route.”
As for TransCanada, its spokesperson,Davis Sheremata says, “if the town had a concern about the clause, it would have been removed”, adding, “the language in the agreement was designed to prevent municipalities from feeling obligated to make public comments on our behalf about projects that did not impact them and about which they had no experience or knowledge.
At the time of this story Mattawa Mayor Dean Backer wasn’t available to comment.
(source: Financial Post & Bloomberg.com)