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Regina chapter’s letter to the editor says Energy East is not a “nation builder”

Jim ElliottThe Council of Canadians Regina chapter highlighted the national unity dimension of the Energy East debate in this letter to the editor published in the Regina Leader-Post today.

Chapter activist Jim Elliott writes, “The barbed quips from [federal Conservative leader] Rona Ambrose, [Saskatchewan premier] Brad Wall and other politicians hide an underlying truth. The Energy East pipeline is not a nation builder nor is it the best solution to Alberta’s, Saskatchewan’s or Canada’s problems. With the threat of oil spills in cities, contamination of Canadian’s drinking water and the continued exporting of carbon dioxide, this pipeline will not solve our economic woes or the need to import oil into eastern Canada.”

He then highlights, “This country pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to keep temperature increases below 2 degrees, hopefully 1.5. Even Premier Notley understands that we need to move away from fossil fuel burning. But unfortunately Mr. Wall only wants to help his energy buddies and not deal with the problems of climate change. It can be done but not by spouting off against Mayor Denis Coderre and others.”

And Elliott concludes, “The continued sniping between politicians is an echo of the lost decade of Stephen Harper. Bullying others like Premier Wall said when asking the mayors to give back their equalization payments while putting out the cap to ask for ‘more money please’ doesn’t go to solving the problem. We need to move our economy aggressively away from the fossil fuel tap and towards a sustainable green economy. All Canadians need to turn off the spigot. We need to leave it in the ground. We need to build energy efficiency into everything. We need to increase our renewable energy supply. If we want an industrial revolution and a recovering economy, this is it.”

The Council of Canadians has taken the position that while some federal and provincial politicians, columnists and even a comedian have argued that opposition to the Energy East pipeline threatens to divide this country, we believe that our shared concern – indeed imperative – for drinking water could serve to unite us. As Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow recently concluded in a speech, “Imagine caring for our water as a fiercely managed public trust based on the principles of justice and sustainability. Imagine a world in which water becomes nature’s gift to teach us how to live in peace with one another and dwell more lightly on this lovely planet.”

To read Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue’s blog on the nationalist rhetoric being employed by TransCanada and others to drum up support for the Energy East pipeline, please see Myth Busting: Energy East is Canadian oil for Canadians.

For more on our campaign to stop the Energy East pipeline, please click here.

Further reading
Council of Canadians supports Montreal Metropolitan Community’s defence of waterways (Jan. 26, 2016)

Photo: Regina chapter activist Jim Elliott.