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Council of Canadians opposes Energy East in Belleisle

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.

The proposed Energy East pipeline would transport 1.1 million barrels of bitumen a day from the tar sands in northern Alberta to Saint John, New Brunswick. It would involve the construction of 1,400 kilometres of new pipeline in New Brunswick and cross 280 waterways in the province. The drinking water in Edmundston, Saint Leonard, Saint Anne de Madawaska, Grand Falls, Cambridge Narrows, Hampton, Fredericton and Saint John would all be put at risk by an Energy East pipeline spill. If Energy East were approved, it would more than double (from 115 to 281) the number of oil supertankers in the Bay of Fundy each year.

The pipeline would also cross several watercourses – including Joliffs Brook, Elm Brook, Belleisle Creek, and Midland Brook – that flow into Belleisle Bay.

Prior to the town hall meeting, the speakers and Council of Canadians organizer Angela Giles met with landowner and dairy farmer Bob Pierson. Pierson is opposed to the pipeline that TransCanada wants to build along his farm.

Over the past year, D’Arcy has been meeting with landowners in the watershed regions of Washademoak Lake, Belleisle Bay, Kennebecasis Bay and River, Bay of Fundy, Upper Saint John River, and Grand Lake who are also concerned about the pipeline.  He has been providing these landowners with our When TransCanada Comes Knocking: Living along the proposed Energy East pipeline path toolkit.

The tour began on Tuesday in Chipman (where the pipeline would cross the Salmon River). Tonight the tour is in Hampton (the pipeline would cross the properties of organic farmers there). And the tour concludes tomorrow night in Saint John (where the massive oil storage tank farm and export marine terminal would be constructed).

For more on our campaign to stop Energy East, please click here.