Skip to content

Fredericton chapter collects water from St. John River to oppose Energy East pipeline

Saint John River

Mark and Caroline collect water from the St. John River today.

The Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter has collected water from the St. John River to highlight for Justin Trudeau what would be at risk if he were to approve the Energy East pipeline.

The St. John River is also known as ‘Wolastoq’, which means ‘Beautiful River’ in Maliseet. More than half a million people live near the 700-kilometre long river, most of whom are in New Brunswick. Some of the other towns and cities along the river include Edmundston, Grand Falls and Saint John. Based on the information available, the risk to the St. John River is great because Energy East would cross at least six of the river’s major tributaries including the Madawaska, the Green River (Rivière Verte), the Tobique, the Salmon, and the massive Canaan and Kennebecasis rivers.

The jar of water collected by chapter activists Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy and Mark D’Arcy will be part of an upcoming ‘climate welcome’ action at 24 Sussex Drive, the Prime Minister’s official residence in Ottawa.

On Saturday November 7, activists will attempt to present this water – along with other bottles of water collected from waterways threatened by fossil fuel projects across the country – to Prime Minister Trudeau. Our London chapter collected water from the Thames River, our Prince Albert chapter collected water from the North Saskatchewan River, and our Saint John chapter collected water from the Bay of Fundy for this action.

Organizers highlight that on Nov. 7, “We’ll shine a spotlight on grassroots movements across Canada that have been fighting to defend their communities and our climate from reckless pipeline expansion. The gifts on this day will provide a powerful image of what’s at risk if these pipelines are built. We’re going to do this by providing water samples from the rivers, lakes and coastlines that tar sands pipelines would put at risk, and from water bodies that have already been poisoned as a result of the tar sands.”

The Council of Canadians wants the Trudeau government to start the National Energy Board review process of the Energy East project over again. We believe that the current NEB review process fails to properly engage and consult with First Nations, does not include an assessment of upstream and downstream impacts or greenhouse gas emissions, and excludes impacted members of the public from the review process.

We have also signed the Leap manifesto that demands “no new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future” and asserts that we could have a 100 per cent clean economy by 2050. And we believe the Trudeau government should freeze fossil fuel extraction (by leaving 80 per cent of all existing fossil fuel reserves in the ground) and end subsidies to the oil and gas industry.

For more on the Climate Welcome, please see their webpage.