TQM Spin doctors up to the same old tricks
Since the very beginning of the publication of Pipeline
Blues we have known
that TQM, its public relations firm Forum Communications, and Janin have been
among its most avid and faithful readers.
What we did not realize until recently was just how much it influences them!
Last week when we said "Send your letters today!", Forum Communications snapped
to attention and favored the landowners with a "newsletter" which purports to
update us on the status of TQM's proposed project.
The spin doctors at TQM and Forum Communications certainly let their
imaginations run wild in this effort to create a positive image of their
flagging PNGTS Extension project. The result is more of what we have come to
expect from this crew - highly predictable concoctions of half-truths and
distortions. This time they have included a generous dollop of wishful-thinking
in the mix.
"Many authorizations already granted by the Quebec authorities"...
The TQM "newsletter" implies that the proposed PNGTS Project has been approved
by the BAPE, the CPTAQ, the Quebec government, and the Memphremagog
us look over the shoulders of the TQM spin doctors as they count up the
"approvals" that their project has received.
Only TQM would have the temerity to suggest that the BAPE's
report on their project amounts to an approval. The BAPE report chastised them
severely and said they should not go through either the Coaticook or
In their newsletter, TQM spin doctors create an
illusion of BAPE approval with a linkage to CPTAQ:
"The BAPE has
submitted its report and the CPTAQ has accepted the project and the proposed
It is all done with mirrors, folks.
- Memphremagog MRC
Subsequent to its December 17th resolution, which was not an acceptance
of the proposed PNGTS Extension project, the Memphremagog MRC issued a second resolution on the 21st of January to reinforce
their position, which is that this project is unwelcome in its
The CPTAQ three-member panel which held hearings on the proposed PNGTS
Extension project was presided over for two of its three hearings by Brian
Fahey, whose brother works for Gaz Metropolitain as a liason with government
departments (TQM is a subsiderary of Gaz Met) and does public relations
for PNGTS, TQM's American partners.
The "approval" proffered by this panel is currently the subject of two
Subsequent to the CPTAQ hearings, the Quebec UPA has "read the small print" and
withdrawn its acceptance of this project. This is a very significant
development for it makes approval of the project by another CPTAQ panel
problematic, to say the least.
- The Quebec Government's Order in Council
The Quebec Government jumped the gun when it issued its Order in Council. It
should have waited the customary 60 days to allow for a possible appeal of the
CPTAQ's recommendation. Especially under the circumstances.
If the recommendation of the first CPTAQ panel is successfully challanged in
the courts, and a second panel reverses that recommendation (a likely outcome
in the absence of UPA support), the Quebec Government will be obliged to
rescind its Order in Council.
There you have it. While TQM has no option other than to "bet the farm" on
such a framework of shakey and non-existent "approvals", common sense tells us
that the game is very far from being over.
PNGTS Extension falls further behind schedule
In their newsletter the TQM spin doctors say optimistically that their project
is right on schedule and that "construction work is still slated to begin in
Anyone who has been following this story knows that since the beginning TQM
maintained that they would start working on the land in February in order to
meet their November 1st, 1998 inservice deadline. So their newsletter is
actually an admission that they are three months behind schedule.
In many quarters even this admission of being three months behind schedule
is viewed as wishful thinking - some say that it could be as late as the end of
July, if ever, before all the necessary approvals are obtained.
TQM, out of the biggness of its heart, is offering its aid in the wake of the
recent ice storm by offering immediate payment to those who have signed their
compensation options. Haven't signed your option yet? Contact your nearest
negociating agent today to take advantage of this fabulous offer!!
What I want to know is, were any of these spin-docs selling batteries
on street corners during the ice storm?
No thank you, TQM! TQM, non merci!
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