MONTREAL—Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has walked out of the Energy East hearings in Montreal with protesters disrupting the start of proceedings.
Coderre was scheduled to be the first speaker at this morning’s hearings into the controversial pipeline project.
The mayor says he’ll try to return August 30 to give his testimony on TransCanada’s project to transport crude oil from Alberta to New Brunswick.
A protester ran screaming towards the commissioners minutes before the hearings were to begin.
He was grabbed by security but overpowered them and was joined by several other protesters who chanted, held hands and prevented proceedings from getting going.
Many Quebec activists and politicians, including Coderre, have opposed the TransCanada project due to environmental concerns, although it has supporters as well.
The hearings are set for all week in Montreal before moving to Quebec City the week of Oct. 3.
About 150 people protested against the pipeline outside the downtown Montreal venue where the hearings were scheduled to take place.