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Fredericton chapter calls on New Brunswick government to do its “homework” on Energy East

Maggie Connell

Photo: Global News news

The Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter wants the New Brunswick government to follow Quebec’s lead and do its “homework” on the 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline proposal.

The Globe and Mail reports, “Quebec is asking the court to force TransCanada Corp. to comply with provincial law and submit the Energy East project for a provincial environmental assessment. Provincial Environment Minister David Heurtel said the government is not signalling its intention to block the pipeline, but merely insisting that TransCanada follow provincial law. …Failure to do so could leave the company and the province subject to legal challenges down the road, he said, noting a court decision in British Columbia that will require that province to do its own environmental review of the Northern Gateway pipeline.”

The Canadian Press explains, “In January, the B.C. Supreme Court nullified an agreement that gave the NEB the power to review the Northern Gateway proposal, which aims to connect Alberta crude to Kitimat, B.C. That means B.C. must make its own decision after consulting with and accommodating indigenous communities along the route.” In April 2012, the Harper government announced its “one project, one review” policy. Then-natural resources minister John Oliver claimed it would be “counter-productive” to have federal and provincial governments undertake reviews of the same project.

Global News adds, “[TransCanada] does not plan to grant Quebec’s request anytime soon.”

Global also reports, “The New Brunswick government re-affirmed its support for the Energy East pipeline on Tuesday [March 1] after the Quebec government announced its intention to seek an injunction against the project. Brian Gallant’s Liberals have maintained that the project would be a great provider for New Brunswick.” That article quotes Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter activist Maggie Connell who says, “I’m scared of it for me and for my kids who are now having kids, and we don’t even know what this is. We haven’t done our homework on this at all.”

But CBC notes, “Environment Minister Brian Kenny says the Gallant government still believes the project does not have to go through a full provincial environmental impact assessment because the pipeline will cross several provinces.” That news report adds, “Green party leader David Coon, an opponent of Energy East, complained last year that TransCanada should be filing paperwork for a full provincial review in New Brunswick.” In June 2015, Coon highlighted, “The New Brunswick portion of this pipeline is 412 km in length. It will cross 280 watercourses and hundreds of private properties in our province, terminating in a tank farm adjacent to the community of Red Head which will emit hazardous air pollutants into the local airshed.”

Fredericton-based Council of Canadians campaigner Mark D’Arcy is strengthening opposition to the pipeline in the province by working with the Peace and Friendship Alliance (on Feb. 8, the Wolastoq Grand Council issued a statement rejecting Energy East in order to protect their non-ceded homeland and waterways), the community of Red Head (on May 30, 2015, 700 people marched in that community to oppose Energy East), and with landowners (D’Arcy has met with more than 40 landowners along the pipeline route and is sharing our When TransCanada Comes Knocking: Living along the proposed Energy East pipeline path toolkit with them).

For more on our campaign to stop Energy East in New Brunswick, please go to http://www.noenergyeastnb.ca.