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Kent County chapter takes part in #DeedsNotWords events to protect the Shubenacadie River

The Alton Natural Gas Storage LP office in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia.

The New Brunswick-based Council of Canadians Kent County chapter was in Nova Scotia today for a #DeedsNotWords series of events.

The outreach highlighted, “(10-11:30 am) Rally at Mastondon Ridge at Alton’s headquarters. Please bring drums, signs and we will provide flyers for distribution. (12pm) Anishinaabe Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, Mother Earth Water Walker from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario will share her Water Journey and teachings of the Sacredness of Water. (1-4 pm) Feast and Sharing at Truckhouse/ Rain location Millbrook Hall.”

The Council of Canadians and our allies have been opposing for the past two years a plan by Alton Natural Gas Storage LP to store natural gas near the rural community of Alton, which is situated about 75 kilometres north of Halifax. The company wants to do this by drilling wells in underground salt caverns. The project would include two 12-kilometre pipelines. One would be used to pump water from the Shubenacadie River estuary to flush the salt out of the caverns to make way for the gas to be stored. The other would transport the resulting salt brine mixture into storage ponds that would then be discharged back into the river.

CTV reports, “The rain and windy weather couldn’t stop a group of Aboriginal Nova Scotians from protesting water issues that are affecting indigenous communities across the province. The rally was held near the sight of the controversial Alton Gas project, which would release salt brine into the Stewiacke River. After the rally, a Thanksgiving feast was held at the Millbrook First Nation. While lots of food was served, the conversation remained on water. Elder Josephine Mandamin is the founder of the Mother Earth Water Walk and came to Nova Scotia from Thunder Bay, Ont. to support the cause.”

And as noted in the outreach, “We will be joining a network from across Canada who are organizing events for a national day of actions on water. From water shortages, to water quality issues, to dumping of salt brine in our rivers and lakes, there is a movement happening from Site C dam, Muskrat Falls, Stop Alton Gas to Standing Rock.” This refers to the Idle No More day of action that says, “Justin Trudeau. It is time for DEEDS, Not WORDS, that truly respect Indigenous Rights.”

Global News notes, “Deeds, not words, was the message on Thanksgiving as dozens of Indigenous community groups gathered across the country to call out the Trudeau government for what they say are broken promises. In May 2016, the federal Liberals announced their commitment and obligation to work with Indigenous communities on a range of issues, including natural resource development, land claim disputes and First Nations’ right to self-determination. ‘We wanted the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into law and they have made it quite clear it’s unworkable’, Tori Cress with Idle No More Ontario said.”

The demands being made on the Trudeau government today include:

  • Implement UNDRIP in Canadian law.

  • Clearly indicate it respects Indigenous Peoples’ right to say no to development on their land. (This means Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, not manipulated sham consultations).

  • Stop the Site C dam.

  • Close the funding deficit for First Nations now.

  • Stop pipeline, gas, and oil mega-projects: build green energy, transit, and houses.

  • Introduce a climate plan that respects the 1.5-2 degree temperature target that Canada helped negotiate in Paris. Adopting Harper’s emission reduction targets is a betrayal of that commitment.

  • Fully fund Indigenous-owned and controlled renewable energy projects.

For more on this cross-country day of action, please click here.