May 29, 2016

Will Rachel Notley and Brian Mason take action to protect water from fracking?

The Council of Canadians helped to establish the Alberta Fracking Resource & Action Coalition (ABFRAC), a network of organizations and individuals concerned about fracking in their province.

Now two member of ABFRAC are calling on the Alberta NDP to act on their past statements on fracking.

In August 2012, then-NDP environment critic Rachel Notley expressed concern about fracking, the five million cubic meters of water the province had approved for it in 2011, and called for an independent scientific review of fracking. She stated, "If we don't get a better ... understanding of what's safe for Albertans, we run the risk of doing some really long-term damage. In Alberta, we have no regulation — at all — that specifically covers fracking activity. [Questions need to be answered before] we start holus-bolus giving out water to the fracking industry without knowing the safety that needs to come along with that."

May 28, 2016

Photo by @NSShadesofGreen

The Council of Canadians participated in a highway protest today against the Alton Natural Gas Storage LP proposal.

The company, a subsidiary of Calgary-based AltaGas Ltd., has proposed creating storage facilities for natural gas by drilling three wells in underground salt caverns near the rural community of Alton, which is about 75 kilometres north of Halifax. The idea is that the wells would be used to store natural gas to hedge against higher natural gas prices in the winter. The project would include two 12-kilometre pipelines. One would be used to pump water from the Shubenacadie River estuary to flush the salt out of the caverns (to make way for the gas to be stored) and the other for transporting the resulting salt brine mixture into storage ponds that would be built beside an estuary in Fort Ellis (and then discharged back into the river).

May 28, 2016

Energy East town hall meeting in North Bay, April 25. Photo by North Bay Now.

A recent Council of Canadians town hall meeting in North Bay on the Energy East pipeline was raised at the Liberal Party of Canada biennial policy convention now underway in Winnipeg.

On April 25, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow presented new evidence at this town hall on the risks of TransCanada’s proposed 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline. She highlighted the findings of our report, When Oil Meets Water: How the Energy East pipeline threatens North Bay watersheds.

May 28, 2016

Photo by Rachel Tetrault.

Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape attempted to hand out leaflets opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the Liberal party biennial convention now taking place in Winnipeg.

While DePape was stopped quickly by security inside the RBC Convention Centre, she did manage to give a leaflet to Maryanne Kampouris, the National Policy Chair for the Liberal Party of Canada. Kampouris has previously stated that her role within the party is to, "Hold open discussions on the policy process, summarize proposals and ask for clear direction within 3-4 months of the biennial."

May 28, 2016

Photo by Murray Bush.

Council of Canadians activists protested at the Imperial Metals annual shareholders meeting in Richmond yesterday morning.

Imperial Metals is the Vancouver-based company responsible for the Mount Polley mine tailings pond dam failure in August 2014 that spilled about 25 million cubic metres of water laden with arsenic, lead and copper into nearby waterways and lakes in Secwepemc Territory in central British Columbia. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip has stated, "Like the Exxon Valdez, Mount Polley will be synonymous with one of the most disastrous environmental events in British Columbia." The mine has resumed its operations, notably with the provincial government in March granting the company permission to discharge further untreated mine site runoff into Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake until July 31.