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South Shore chapter holds public forum on stopping the Alton Gas storage project

A tweet from last night’s public forum.

The Council of Canadians South Shore chapter held a public forum last night on the controversial Alton Gas storage project.

Chapter activist Charlene Morton had posted on Facebook, “Join protectors Michelle Paul, mother and treaty rights-holder; 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.

Morton’s Facebook post explains, “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). To read Tress’ blog about the recent tour stop in Sipekne’katik (May 11), please click here.

A provincial election is now underway in Nova Scotia. Voters will go to the polls on May 30. We are calling on chapter activists and the broader public to ask candidates running in this election:

1- What would your government do specifically about the issue of the proposed Alton Gas project?

2- What would you do to better protect our rights, our water, and our climate from unnecessary projects like Alton Gas?

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