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Council of Canadians opposes the Energy East pipeline in Regina

Andrea Harden-Donahue in Regina

Harden-Donahue speaks to a full house at the Regina event.

The Council of Canadians held a public forum in Regina last night in opposition to the Energy East pipeline.

About 200 people were in attendance, including the general public, youth, union allies, federal and provincial party candidates and a significant Treaty 4 presence.

Prior to the event, the Regina Leader-Post reported, “Speakers on this council’s tour in Saskatchewan will be: Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians; Ben Gotschall, energy director for Bold Nebraska, a ranchers’ group that has opposed the Keystone XL pipeline in the Midwestern U.S., and; Melissa Daniels, Dene lawyer and a member of northern Alberta’s Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, who will speak on tar sands expansion, plus First Nations treaty and indigenous rights.”

Their message was well-received by the audience with each speaker receiving a standing ovation.

Maude Barlow in Regina

Barlow addresses the audience.

After the event, Global News reported, “In her speech to the crowd, [Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Andrea] Harden-Donahue said the City of Regina should hold a referendum on the Energy East proposal, similar to a plebiscite held in Kitimat on the Northern Gateway pipeline.” In that instance, despite the pipeline company’s promises of jobs and investment, 58 per cent of the community voted against that project in an April 2014 vote.

That news report also quotes Harden-Donahue stating, “I’m hearing a lot of support for concerns around spills. I met with a couple of people who were from the university [the University of Regina] and some youth that are really concerned about what this means upstream. Our federal government is putting all of its eggs in one basket. Sustainable agriculture, clean energy and public transport, these are good jobs. They’re green jobs and they can reduce climate pollution, so why not focus there?”

Jim ElliottFor photos and tweets from last night’s event, please see Edmonton-based Council of Canadians Prairies organizer Chris Gallaway’s Twitter page.

Today, the Council of Canadians is organizing a noon-hour event where the Energy East pipeline would cut through the Regina subdivision of Harbour Landing.

Following the public forums in Winnipeg (April 11) and Regina (April 13), the four-community tour continues in Swift Current (April 15) and Moose Jaw (April 16). For more on tomorrow night’s event in Swift Current, you can read the Southwest Booster article, Energy East Pipeline opposition tour making stop in Swift Current.

That article highlights, “In Saskatchewan the pipeline crosses or passes near major waterways including the South Saskatchewan River, Moose Jaw River and the Swift Current Creek watershed. The route also passes through the ecologically sensitive Great Sand Hills. In Manitoba the affected waterways include the Assiniboine River, Red River and in the Shoal Lake watershed. It also crosses two metres below the sole aqueduct for Winnipeg’s drinking water.”

For further details on the tour, please click here.

Further reading
Regina chapter activist Jim Elliott opposes Energy East export pipeline (October 2014 blog)
Barlow says Energy East pipeline not safer than oil by rail in Regina (February 2015 blog)

Photo 3: Regina chapter activist Jim Elliott at last night’s forum.