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South Shore chapter to hold public forum on Alton Gas storage project, May 12

Treaty Truckhouse organizer Dale Poulette and Grassroots Grandmother Dorene Bernard.

The Council of Canadians South Shore chapter, along with frontline water protectors and the Canada Research Chair for Sustainability and Social Change, will be holding a public forum in Mahone Bay on May 12.

Chapter activist Charlene Morton has posted on Facebook, “Join protectors Dorene Bernard, grassroots grandmother; Dale Poulette, Treaty Truckhouse organizer; and Alan Knockwood, Sipekne’katik elder to learn about their struggle to protect the water, climate, Indigenous rights, and environmental rights by stopping the Alton Gas Project.”

Alton Natural Gas Storage LP, a subsidiary of Calgary-based AltaGas Ltd., wants to build underground caverns to store natural gas near the Shubenacadie River on Sipekne’katik territory near the rural communities of Alton and Stewiake, which are situated about 75 kilometres north of Halifax.

The Facebook post notes, “The project was given the go ahead by the Nova Scotia government despite a lack of consultation, multiple failures by the company, and clear and united opposition by the affected communities. When confronted with their failure to gain consent for this project by the Sipekne’katik Band Council, the [Premier Stephen] McNeil Government declared the Sipekne’katik Mi’kmaq a ‘conquered people’, so their consent was not required for the project to go forward. A court decision on January 28th ruled otherwise, and has opened the way for Mi’kmaq and settler community members from across this province to speak out about protecting our rivers.”

Halifax-based Council of Canadians organizer Robin Tress has noted, “Along with many other individuals and groups, we’re in the middle of a town hall tour designed to share information about the project and empower people to join the fight against Alton Gas.” The speaking tour has already been to Halifax (March 27) and Antigonish (April 5). The speaking tour will be in Sipekne’katik (May 11) then Mahone Bay (May 12).

A provincial election is now underway in Nova Scotia. Voters will go to the polls on May 30.

The Council of Canadians has ben working with allies in opposition to the Alton Gas project since November 2014.

To see a 6-minute video about this struggle, please click here.