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Council of Canadians opposes Energy East at town hall in Chipman

Ben Gotschall and Mark D’Arcy in Chipman. Photo by Angela Giles.

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

Our panel of speakers 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 cross the Salmon River near Chipman.

Despite this, the Village of Chipman passed a resolution in October 2014 supporting the pipeline.

This afternoon, Halifax-based Council of Canadians organizer Angela Giles and the speakers met with the Chief of the Chipman Fire Department to discuss what emergency plans were in place for a pipeline spill. Fire Chief Bedford Brown agreed that his department doesn’t have the equipment or training to deal with a major pipeline-related incident.

And later this afternoon they visited the site of a proposed pumping station for the pipeline at Cumberland Bay. There they painted the Harmony Project image on a tree. Last week, the Canadian Press reported, “The Council of Canadians and the Wolastoq Grand Council are encouraging people to paint artwork along the proposed Energy East pipeline route through New Brunswick in an effort to raise awareness [of the pipeline route and the waterways it crosses].”

Tomorrow night the speakers will be in Belleisle (the pipeline would cross several watercourses that flow into Belleisle Bay), then on May 26 in Hampton (the pipeline would the properties of organic farmers there), with the tour concluding on May 27 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.