VIDEO: [ChiuanKeynes] Quebec’s Francois Legault to Alberta’s Jason Kenney: Nice French, but we don’t want a pipeline. [April 18, 2019]
I was born in Montreal East when it was Canada’s oil refining capital. We moved to Hochelaga-Maisonneuve when I was four, but I still remember the sulphur smell of rotten eggs. The clanking noise of tanker cars coupling in the night made my little iron bed rattle.
But I can’t remember the night my parents had to flee as oil reservoirs were exploding left, right and centre, during the winter of 1956. Even at 300 yards, the fire was so intense, one could not touch the windows. Even the inside walls facing the fire were warmer than normal.
But we survived. As did the house, and my dad’s Industrial Tavern on Notre-Dame St. East, near the docks, a famous meeting place for sailors from everywhere.
Oil, then, spelled prosperity. Yes, it was as polluting then as it is now, even more so as lead was still used as a performance-enhancing additive to gasoline.
Today, there’s little left of this economic and employment powerhouse. Except for Suncor in neighbouring Pointe-aux-Trembles, oil refineries are gone. Some chemical plants remain.
This article continues at [Montreal Gazette] Lise Ravary: Quebec should take pipeline risk, for the national good