Skip to content

Fredericton forum against Energy East pipeline draws 300 people

The panel at last night's public forum. (L-r) Abbott, Gotschall, Barlow, Giles, Tremblay. Photo by Lubbe-D'Arcy.

The panel at last night’s public forum. (L-r) Abbott, Gotschall, Barlow, Giles, Tremblay. Photo by Lubbe-D’Arcy.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow spoke to 300 people last night in Fredericton, New Brunswick warning of the dangers of TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline. Also on the panel were Angela Giles, our Halifax-based Atlantic regional organizer, Ben Gotschall, a Nebraska-based farmer and opponent of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, and Matthew Abbott, the St. Andrews-based Fundy Baykeeper with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

Just prior to the public forum, Barlow tweeted, “Fredericton town hall on Energy East filling up!” 

The evening then began with Ron Tremblay welcoming people to Wabanaki Territory which includes most of Maine, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, plus some of Quebec south of the St. Lawrence River. The Wabanaki Confederacy is comprised of five principal Nations: the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki and Penobscot.

Fredericton Energy East Tour

Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter activists Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy and Margo Sheppard tweeted throughout the evening on the comments being made by the speakers. In their tweets, they highlighted:


  • “Rail transport will CONTINUE even if pipeline built (which it won’t be)”

  • “TransCanada had 5 major spills in North America THIS YEAR! Including 3 in Canada. It’s not ‘if’ but ‘when’ it spills.”


  • “This is an export project”

  • “Spills associated with Energy East: bitumen has even more impact on fisheries”

  • “Energy East and ecotourism in Fundy Bay: tanker noise disruptive to whales, more whale strikes”

  • “shipping lanes affect endangered right whale and disproportionately Nova Scotia fisheries since tankers pass close to Digby Neck”


  • “[He] took out ad in Nebraska after TransCanada told landowners they were the only ones objecting to pipeline (they lied)”

  • “Bold Nebraska built solar barn directly on route of Transcanada KXL pipeline so TransCanada would have to tear down to build [pipeline]”

  • “Water and oil don’t mix”


  • “New Irving refinery couldn’t process bitumen unless billions spent on upgrader; still rip it and ship it approach”

  • “Rail traffic will increase; bitumen must be diluted to flow and in Kalamazoo, Michigan they still can’t clean it up”

  • “Tar sands oil now going out in tankers from [the St. Lawrence River] to Europe. Thanks to Harper for gutting all environmental legislation”

  • “Energy East pipeline is NOT a DONE DEAL. It’s our risk and THEIR reward and we can prevent it fr coming here.”

Barlow also tweeted, “Sadly, some worker protesters outside. We must be together.” The small protest included pipeline fitters that hope to benefit from the short-term jobs associated with building the pipeline. During the public forum, Barlow highlighted, “40 percent increase in tar sands production would send even more New Brunswick young people out west (not keep them home)” It’s also significant to note that the Alberta Federation of Labour has characterized the pipeline as an “export” project and commented, “Energy East will only solidify our role as ‘hewers of wood, drawers of water…and diggers of bitumen.'” 

Our tour – which has reached almost 800 people so far just with the public forums, not to mention through media coverage and key strategic meetings – concludes on Thursday night in Edmundston.

Further reading about the stops on this tour: