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Energy East faces growing opposition at the #EndOfTheLine

Red Head march

Saint John – Hundreds gathered today in the small rural community of Red Head, near Saint John, New Brunswick, to draw a line on the shores of the Bay of Fundy against the encroaching Energy East pipeline. While New Brunswick is often considered the centre of support for TransCanada’s proposed pipeline, the event brought together people from all over the province, as well as Nova Scotia, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Maine, concerned about the impacts of the 1.1 million barrel per day pipeline project.

“We live directly below the proposed tank farm, and I cannot help but think of the worst case scenario with a fire or spill,” said Joe Mahabee, Red Head resident and member of the Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association. “We know the way gravity works. We are directly in the path and there is only one road out. This project would destroy our peace and serenity.”

The local volunteer-run Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association coordinated the family-friendly event. The full day included a colourful march featuring banners listing waterways at risk from an Energy East spill, a smoke ceremony, and a water declaration. Participants linked arms to form a symbolic “line in the sand” and listened to speeches and performances from well-known New Brunswick artists including Jesse Cox and the Hubert Francis Band.

The Energy East project would see a massive oil storage facility housing 7.8 million barrels built across the street from homes in Red Head. TransCanada would also partner with Irving on a new deep sea water port capable of loading at least 115 large tankers a year, exporting oil to places like the U.S., Europe and India.

“We simply don’t know what impact the existing terminal, tank farm and refinery have had on residents living in East Saint John,” said Inka Milewski, Independent Researcher and Science Advisor with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. “What we do know is that lung cancer rates among Saint John residents are more than 40 per cent higher than either provincial rates or rates in Fredericton and Moncton. It would be imprudent to have any further expansion of crude oil transportation, storage or processing in Saint John until the impact of current emissions on human health is properly assessed.”

Ron Tremblay, a member of the Maliseet Grand Council and newly formed Peace and Friendship Alliance said, “We, the members of the Alliance, recognize the Nation-to-Nation Peace and Friendship Treaties as the basis of our common ground, defining our responsibilities to the water and to each other, down through the generations.” The Alliance, which presented a water declaration committing to restoring balance in our relationship with water and opposing threats including the Energy East pipeline, brings together non-governmental organizations, residents and Indigenous peoples from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Maine.

The pipeline would traverse over 300 waterways in New Brunswick and would transport diluted bitumen, which presents heightened risks of sinking when spilled.

The Bay of Fundy has the highest tidal range in the world. Along with its infamous fog, it attracts tourists from across the globe. In 2009 it was a finalist for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It is home to thriving fishery and tourism economies, creating at least 10,000 good jobs. The critically endangered North Atlantic right whale summers in the Bay and is already vulnerable to ship strikes and low-frequency ship noise. A toxic spill or increased pollution would have long-term consequences with no guarantee of adequate clean-up.

Filling the export pipeline would allow an almost 40 per cent increase in tar sands production and would generate more pollution than any single Atlantic province currently emits.

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For More Information:

Angela Giles, The Council of Canadians (902) 478-5727
Leanne Suttton, RHACPA  (506) 657-6721
Lynaya Astephen, RHACPA  (506) 653-7959

www.noenergyeastNB.ca #EndOfTheLine #2riskEE #StopEnergyEast