Fredericton chapter activist Mark D’Arcy writes, “There was a small victory [on Monday January 19] at Fredericton’s Council-in-Committee meeting. …The City of Fredericton has agreed to send a letter to TransCanada Pipelines Corp. asking for a public meeting for the residents of Fredericton.”
This is significant given TransCanada – the company behind the proposed 1.1 million barrels per day Energy East pipeline – has refused requests since 2013 to hold a public meeting in Fredericton. D’Arcy has highlighted, “Citizens need to be properly consulted about the health and public safety implications of these large projects before they are approved.”
Fredericton council votes to request TransCanada to hold a public meeting on the Energy East pipeline. The photo is a still from this video.
Last December, D’Arcy listed for members of city council the questions that should be asked of TransCanada at this meeting, They include:
Will TransCanada be required to post a multi-billion dollar bond as a clean-up fund in the event of a pipeline spill?
Will benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and heavy metals be used in large concentrations to dilute the bitumen in order to ship in pipelines?
Will computer modelling be conducted to predict whether or not toxic chemicals from an oil spill would reach the base of the Nashwaak River, the critical location of windows into the Fredericton aquifer?
Will the Government of New Brunswick and TransCanada initiate meetings with the Wolastoq Nation [given the pipeline crosses their unceded territory and would affect their waterways]?
Will this project jeopardize Canada’s chance of meetings its greenhouse gas targets?
On October 30, 2014, D’Arcy travelled to Saint John to attend a TransCanada ‘open house’ on the Energy East pipeline there. At that time, D’Arcy also asked TransCanada representative Maurice Robichaud that the company hold a public meeting in Fredericton.
On the city council vote earlier this week, D’Arcy adds, “I applaud our own Councillor John MacDermid and the other councillors for their vote on this initiative. …Let’s hope that this company is compelled to bring their company officials to Fredericton for a public meeting.”
We hope so too. TransCanada already met with the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, which backs the pipeline, and the Fredericton North Rotary Club more than ten months ago.
In terms of our public meetings, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow spoke to 300 people at a public forum in Fredericton on November 4, 2014 warning of the dangers of the pipeline. Also on the panel that evening were Angela Giles, our Halifax-based Atlantic regional organizer, Ben Gotschall, a Nebraska-based farmer and opponent of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, and Matthew Abbott, the St. Andrews-based Fundy Baykeeper with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.
For more on our campaign to stop the Energy East pipeline, please click here.
Photo 1. D’Arcy asks TransCanada representative Robichaud for a public meeting in Fredericton. Photo by Tracy Glynn/ NB Media Coop.