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Fredericton chapter helps launch artwork installation campaign vs. the Energy East pipeline

Alma Brooks, Leslie Hillman, Mark D’Arcy, Marilyn Merritt-Gray, Don McDonald

The Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter is joining with allies this morning to launch a new province-wide artwork campaign against the proposed Energy East pipeline.

A media release notes, “Residents, groups and the Wolastoq Grand Council will launch a province-wide initiative to engage communities across New Brunswick to install artwork along the proposed Energy East pipeline route. This is an initiative sponsored by the Peace and Friendship Alliance.”

The speakers at the media conference to launch this initiative this morning include:

– Alma Brooks (Wolastoq Grand Council)

– Mark D’Arcy (Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter)

– Leslie Hillman (Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association)

– Don McDonald (resident in the Nashwaak watershed who compiled the co-ordinates for the waterway crossings of the pipeline across New Brunswick)

– Marilyn Merritt-Gray (Belleisle Bay resident)

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.

The Peace and Friendship Alliance, which was formed in February 2015, is a grouping of representatives from community groups, Indigenous communities, NGOs, church groups, social justice groups, and unions opposed to the Energy East pipeline and concerned about a range of environmental issues. Their mission is to stand in unity to protect all that sustains life, most notably water. Halifax-based Council of Canadians organizer Angela Giles was at the founding meeting of the Alliance. Chapter activists and staff have been deeply involved in all of the subsequent Alliance meetings.

In February 2016, the Wolastoq Grand Council issued a statement declaring, “As members of the Wolastoq Grand Council we unanimously oppose the Energy East Pipeline Project in order to protect our non-ceded homeland and waterways, our traditional and cultural connection to our lands, waterways, and air. The Wolastoq Grand Council has serious concerns for the safety and protection of the animals, fish, birds, insects, plants and tree life that sustains our Wolastoq Nation.” The Council of Canadians supports their authority to reject the pipeline on their territory.

More on the artwork installation campaign soon.

Update (May 19, 6:43 pm):

Late this morning, 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. Council of Canadians spokesman Mark D’Arcy says many people are unaware of the route for the proposed project and his group wants to highlight the hundreds of water crossings. …D’Arcy says his group is concerned about the possible impact on the environment. He says the Harmony Project encourages people to paint a specific image on trees along the route. The image [below] depicts a man and woman paddling a red canoe with the sky above and the blue water below.”