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Fredericton, Saint John, Kent County and Moncton chapters at Peace & Friendship Alliance meeting

The Council of Canadians Fredericton, Saint John, Kent County and Moncton chapters attended the Peace and Friendship Alliance meeting in Sackville yesterday.

They joined with Kopit Lodge, the Wolastoq Grand Council, Stop Spraying New Brunswick, Moving Forward Together, the New Brunswick Environmental Network, Écovie, Peace NB and others for this meeting. Notably, Wolastoq Grand Chief Ron Tremblay and Clan Mother Alma Brooks were at also this gathering.

The Peace and Friendship Alliance, which was formed in February 2015, is an alliance of Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Acadian, Anglophone, and Newcomers in New Brunswick. Their mission is to stand in unity to protect all that sustains life, most notably water. Chapter activists and staff have been deeply involved in all of the Alliance meetings.

Council of Canadians campaigner and Fredericton chapter activist Mark D’Arcy tells us, “We had a lengthy discussion on how to mobilize young people and municipalities along the Energy East pipeline and the Bay of Fundy. There was also a presentation on the Belledune oil-by-rail proposal, and we heard from students from Mount Allison University who I had made a presentation to back in September.”

Students against Energy East

Last week, the New Wark Times reported, “Students at Mount Allison University are hoping to persuade Sackville Town Council [on November 7] and the governors of the university to oppose construction of the Energy East pipeline. The students say if the town and university issued formal statements against the proposed pipeline, it would counter the idea that Energy East has a lot of public support. The students launched their campaign under the supervision of Professor Brad Walters who teaches a course on environmental activism. The students plan to set up information tables on campus in the coming weeks and talk to people about why they should oppose Energy East. They’re also distributing anti-pipeline materials from the Council of Canadians.”

Belledune oil-by-rail proposal

This summer, the CBC reported, “Three Mi’kmaq communities in Quebec are challenging the proposed Chaleur Terminals oil terminal project at the Port of Belledune, this time taking the federal government to court over lack of consultation. Chaleur Terminal’s plan would see 150,000 barrels of oil travel through Quebec and the Matapedia Valley to the Restigouche region on its way to Belledune on 220 rail cars each day. The Calgary-based company then plans to pump the crude oil into storage tanks, eventually to be transferred onto tankers for international export.”

Standing Rock and Trans Mountain

Those gathered for the Peace and Friendship Alliance meeting also expressed their solidarity with the mobilization in Standing Rock and in opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

About 3,000 people – including people from almost 375 tribal nations – have gathered at Standing Rock in North Dakota to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline being built by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. The pipeline could carry up to 570,000 barrels per day of fracked oil from North Dakota to Illinois. It would cross 200 waterways, including the Missouri River, which is upstream of Lake Oahe, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s main source of drinking water.

And Texas-based Kinder Morgan is proposing to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline from northern Alberta to the British Columbia coast to increase the pipeline’s capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. The pipeline would carry diluted bitumen from the tar sands through Jasper National Park, into the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, across the Vedder Fan aquifer and the municipality of Chilliwack’s protected groundwater zone, then across the Fraser River and to the Westridge Marine Terminal at Burrard Inlet for export on 400 supertankers a year. The Trudeau government is expected to approve this pipeline by December 19.

D’Arcy says, “It is clear that extreme oil and gas projects must not be built, including the Energy East pipeline, the oil-by-rail marine terminal at Belledune, the Trans Mountain pipeline, and the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

Next month’s meeting of the Peace and Friendship Alliance will be on December 3 in Hampton.