A record-breaking number of chapter activists attended our Atlantic Regional Meeting in Saint John New Brunswick over this past weekend. One thing coming out of it is certain: we are a small but mighty region, with no shortage of local issues nor a shortage of energy to work on them!!
Skill-building and open space were the themes for the weekend, and we would have been remiss to not talk about the Energy East campaign and visit Red Head, the site of the “End of the Line” and the terminal and tank farm that will see the dilbit exported via tankers on the Bay of Fundy. Matt Abbott (Fundy Baykeeper, also with CCNB) was able to join us for the visit and talk about the Bay of Fundy’s ecosystem and potential impacts in the case of a spill, which would also have a negative impact on other vital industries to Bay of Fundy communities.
Local Red Head resident and Saint John chapter activist Lynaya Astephan also spoke while we were at the beach on Anthony’s Cove Road. She pointed out where the tank farm would be located, talked about how empowering the March to the end of the line was in May 2015 and how the community is still mobilizing to increase an understanding of what will happen in their backyard.
Several other inspiring sessions occurred at our venue for the weekend, including around chapter operations, filing a right to information request, planning for the months ahead and how to grow our movements. It was inspiring and insightful, with lots of feedback about priority issues for the region coming back to the organization and hopefully some great connections being made too (like the Peace and Friendship Alliance gathering coming up in Nova Scotia, and the need for biomass to be added to the agenda for that meeting, a new facebook group for Atlantic chapter activists to stay more closely connected, and Erika’s TPP powerpoint presentation will be a useful tool for others working on the issue)!
Thanks to all who attended and made the weekend amazing! A very special thanks to our hosts the Saint John chapter, especially Leticia and Sister Angie, as well as thanks to Lynaya Astephen, Matt Abbott, Trudy Watts, Mark D’Arcy and the local KAIROS group who delivered the blanket exercise to us. And of course Brent Patterson who is spending the next 3 weekends attending other regional meetings… We set the bar high!! And hope we’ve inspired you to try and make yours even better (if that’s possible!). <3