May 26, 2016

This week I've been travelling in the lower Saint John river region of New Brunswick (South central region) with Ben Gotschall, rancher and pipeline activist from Nebraska, Alma Brooks, Maliseet elder of the Wolastoq Grand Council and Mark D'Arcy, the Council of Canadians NB Energy East campaigner.

Tonight’s townhall in Hampton was great. Speakers are in their groove, attendance is good (25 people in a community of 5000), and the questions and discussion was very informative for participants (many of whom already seemed to have a good understanding of the pipeline).

[We have already done townhalls in Chipman and Belleisle. More information from these can be found on twitter: @angiles or #2RiskEE.]

While the townhalls have been the focus of the tour, the highlight so far for me has been meeting farmers and landowners along the route, and painting #HarmonyProject art installations along the way. To date, with landowners' permission, we have painted 3 art installations:

May 26, 2016

New Brunswick dairy farmer Bob Pierson, Council of Canadians campaigner Mark D'Arcy, Nebraska rancher Ben Gotschall share their concerns about pipelines.

The Council of Canadians was in Belleisle, New Brunswick yesterday to help build grassroots opposition to the proposed Energy East pipeline.

Our panel of speakers at a town hall meeting yesterday evening featured Peace and Friendship Alliance member Alma Brooks, Nebraska rancher and Keystone XL pipeline opponent Ben Gotschall, and Fredericton-based Council of Canadians campaigner Mark D'Arcy.

May 26, 2016

The Kelowna chapter will rally against the TPP in front of City Hall on May 31.

The Council of Canadians Kelowna chapter has organized a rally and public forum on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for May 31.

Kelowna Now reports, "The lecture will be held at Okanagan College on May 31 at 7 p.m. with the Pacific Regional Organizer for the Council of Canadians, Harjap Grewal as guest speaker. Grewal will explain about the largest multinational cooperate rights agreements being pursued by the Canadian government and 11 other countries."

Grewal says, "The text has been released and the public is finally learning more about how this far-reaching agreement will impact different levels of government, including municipal governments, indigenous communities, public health, migrants, the environment, internet freedom, food systems and much more."

May 26, 2016
Last Tuesday evening, the Victoria chapter of the Council of Canadians held its Annual General Meeting. I attended and gave a presentation on the Council’s concerns about B.C.’s Water Sustainability Act (WSA). More than 30 people attended and we had a lively discussion about the importance of water and concerns about mining, fracking, drought, Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) and other threats to clean water. This is the fourth event I have spoken at about the Council of Canadians report Water Rush: Why B.C.’s Water Sustainability Act fails to protect water. Other events were in Kelowna, Kamloops and Nelson (Blewett). 
The next day, I met with the BC’s Minister of Environment Mary Polak as well as the Assistant Deputy Minister Kaaren Lewis and Manager of Watershed Sustainability Ian Graeme.  The Minister called the meeting to discuss concerns the Council of Canadians raised in Water Rush and the government’s reassessment of water rates. 
May 25, 2016

Council of Canadians Windsor chapter activist Randy Emerson was in Marysville, Michigan today to support the launch of the Bike the Line campaign against the Line 5 pipeline.

The Line 5 pipeline transports up to 540,000 barrels per day of light crude oil, light synthetic crude oil, and natural gas liquids. The pipeline, built in 1953, runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac where Lake Huron and Lake Michigan meet.

Murtaza Nek and Iona Feldman will be cycling the 1200 kilometre (750 mile) route of the Line 5 pipeline this summer to highlight that threat.

The Times Herald reports, "The Bike the Line protest is an attempt to marshal enough opposition to Enbridge's Line 5 to convince authorities to shut down the 63-year-old pipeline that carries light crude and natural gas produced in Canada through the United States from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia. Both men [Murtaza and Iona] are members of the sponsoring Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands. They contend the line is unsafe."