On April 22, the Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter began a 'Publicly Take Back the Letter' campaign over concerns that Fredericton city council had secretly sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing the city's support for the Energy East pipeline. Today, CBC reports, "The City of Fredericton has admitted it didn't follow the proper steps when it approved a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that supported the proposed Energy East pipeline project."
The news article adds, "The city issued the statement on Thursday morning, days after a group of citizens complained at a council meeting. 'The City of Fredericton recognizes that the appropriate process was not followed in regard to the letter issued on Jan. 26, 2016 to the prime minister of Canada in regards to the Energy East project', the statement said."
And the article highlights, "Mark D'Arcy, a spokesperson for the Council of Canadians in Fredericton, raised questions on Monday about the letter in support of the pipeline project at a council meeting. According to the group, the city's letter was approved in a closed council in committee meeting in January around the time that Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre came out against the pipeline project. The Municipalities Act says closed sessions are only for discussing information that is personal, confidential or could jeopardize negotiations leading to an agreement or contract."
In a blog posted on April 26, D'Arcy wrote, "The Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians has made public that Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside and City Council sent a Letter of Support for the proposed TransCanada Energy East Pipeline Project to the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and kept it secret from the citizens of Fredericton. And now the pubic and reporters have learned that this action was illegal." The chapter attended Monday's city council meeting, distributed 'Publicly Take Back the Letter' posters around the downtown area, and spread the word via social media.
When city council refused to acknowledge the issue at their meeting on Monday night, D'Arcy writes, "The citizens in the public gallery, including several members of the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians, stood up and turned their backs to the Mayor and City Councillors in the Council chamber below. These citizens made their silent statement for a couple of minutes and then quickly left the public gallery."
Today's CBC report notes, "The issue will [now] be added to the council-in-committee meeting agenda on May 2."
Undoubtedly, the Fredericton chapter will be there for that debate.
For more on our campaign to stop the Energy East pipeline, please click here.