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Saint John Mayor makes last ditch effort in support of Energy East; chapter activist calls him out

In a hard-hitting email to Mayor and Council members in Saint John sent early this morning, Saint John chapter activist and spokesperson for the Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association Lynaya Astephen called Mayor Don Darling out for showing his support for TransCanada’s controversial Energy East pipeline at a media conference last Friday.

Astephen is pictured here with fisherman Dave Thompson in a meme inviting PM Trudeau to a lobster boil this past June.

The email was sent in response to a media conference held by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who stood alongside Saint John Mayor Darling to express their unfettering support for the proposed pipeline project. Energy East would predominantly transport tar sands crude from Alberta to Saint John, New Brunswick. A tank farm is planned for the community of Red Head Anthony’s Cove (just outside of Saint John) as storage, but most of the oil would be slated for international markets via tankers through the Bay of Fundy to the Atlantic Ocean.

In her message to Mayor and Council, Astephen enquires as to whether Council supported the media conference (which happened during the Mayor’s vacation to Alberta), whether the Mayor is indeed concerned with the safety of residents across the city (given those closest to the tank farm have not yet received an emergency plan and those on Anthony’s Cove Road have no obvious escape route), and provides several links to more information. She also requested to see the sources for job creation mentioned by Mayor Darling during the media conference.

CBC covered the media conference with the two mayors, and reported on Friday, “TransCanada has suspended the application for 30 days after the National Energy Board said it would review the project’s indirect greenhouse gas contributions… Darling says his city is confident Energy East will ensure the safety of the environment…

“If done right, this could be an opportunity to safely transport Canadian oil resources to where they are needed in Eastern Canada and around the globe. By doing this, we can reduce our dependency on foreign crude oil imports and provide more Canadians with a home-grown, reliable energy supply to power their homes and communities.” [quote from Mayor Darling]

Darling said the project could mean 3,500 full-time jobs in New Brunswick.”

The Council of Canadians has been providing a voice of reason to counter the pro-pipeline narrative since TransCanada announced their proposal in 2013. Lynaya, the Saint John chapter and the Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association, along with many other individuals, communities and groups, have been key to the ever-increasing opposition to this project. Like you, we’re hopeful that on October 08th we’ll see TransCanada announce the full cancellation of Energy East.