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Saint John neighbourhood of Red Head plans to march against the Energy East pipeline

Press Conference

Photo: Lynaya Astephen (far right) speaking at a Red Head and Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association media conference yesterday.

The Council of Canadians is helping to support the End of the Line march in Saint John against the Energy East pipeline on Saturday May 30 starting at 1 pm.

The march is being organized by the Red Head and Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association. CTV reports, “The newly formed Red Head and Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association has become the first neighbourhood coalition to oppose the pipeline.” The community is situated at the terminus of the pipeline on the Bay of Fundy, literally at the end of the line.

In terms of what the East Saint John neighbourhood faces should the pipeline proceed, the news report notes, “There are plans for a new marine terminal and a huge tank farm — to store oil prior to export — to be built in the area.” More specifically, a 150-hectare tank farm capable of housing 7.6 million barrels of oil and heated bitumen would be situated right in the middle of the community. The project would also include a 183-hectare marine terminal complex at Red Head that would serve supertankers exporting 2.2 million barrels of bitumen on the Bay of Fundy.

Along with pipeline spills, there are also concerns about the Volatile Organic Compounds that would be emitted by the tank farm. The CTV report highlights, “Barry Harrigan’s Red Head-area home boasts a spectacular view of the Bay of Fundy and sports one of the first signs opposing the project. ‘If the wind is blowing the right way, it will be very bad for your health. I don’t think I’d want to be here’, Harrigan said. ‘If this (tank) farm were to go through, personally I don’t think it will be safe for us to live here’, he said.” Those volatile organic compounds include cancer-causing benzene and toluene.

The article also quotes local resident Lynaya Astephen, who is both a member of the Red Head and Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association and the Council of Canadians Saint John chapter. She lives just three kilometres from what would be the terminus of the proposed pipeline. She says, “I’ve actually knocked on a lot of doors of my neighbours and I know how they feel and the majority of them, 99 per cent, do not want this project.” She has previously commented, “The risks are just too high. My community’s health would be put at risk by an inevitable spill.”

May 30 posterIf you live near the Saint John area, please be sure to attend the march on May 30.

Fredericton-based Council of Canadians Energy East-New Brunswick campaigner Mark D’Arcy will be at the march and he tells us that, “During the Red Head March, communities will carry large banners with the names of their local river or bay that they want protected. The march will finish at the end of Anthony’s Cove Road on the beach of the Bay of Fundy. Citizens will form a human chain along the beach, building a ‘Line in the Sand’ to highlight their resolve to stop this project and the expansion of the tar sands. Kid-friendly activities, a barbecue, and an evening bonfire on the beach will follow.”

For more on the march, please click here, visit the Facebook event page here, and follow the story on Twitter with the hashtag #EndoftheLine.

Further reading
On May 30th, let’s show Canada and the world that Red Head is “the end of the line” for Energy East (April 2015 blog by Mark D’Arcy)
On the frontlines in Atlantic Canada – what is at risk with the Energy East pipeline (October 2014 blog by Andrea Harden-Donahue)
Council of Canadians stands with Red Head residents opposed to the Energy East pipeline (November 2014 blog)