As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: 'Governments grant permits, but communities grant permission.' It’s critical that we continue to reject this project, not only to avoid its immediate consequences, but to erode the pervasive profit-at-all-costs mentality driving unsustainable development.
I’ve been spending a lot of time along the banks of the Shubenacadie River this summer while helping out with the resistance to Alton Gas. It’s a real knife in the heart to watch this incredible and dynamic ecosystem get slowly and systematically uprooted by AltaGas in their work to build a salt brine discharge system, but my heart bleeds a little less when I’m with the people who are behind the creative and compelling resistance to the destruction.
Yesterday Chief Rufus Copage of Sipekne’katik First Nation sent a letter to Premier Stephen McNeil notifying him of the upcoming community referendum on the controversial Alton Natural Gas Storage Project. Salt cavern gas storage has faced opposition from the local community, Indigenous groups, environmental groups as well as health & safety experts.
Water protectors in summer 2017 celebrate grandmother Josephine Mandamin visiting the Treaty Camp against Alton Gas.
This week Alton Gas officially announced their project won't be completed until 2021, a full 11 years after their original completion date. Information about this project has been hard to get, so here's a summary of what we know.
“Take a look at where we’re standing. Alton Gas plans to clear this forest and build a pipeline here instead."
People paint a banner at the Truckhouse Solidarity Tent in Halifax on May 31 2017. Photo: Local Xpress
On Wednesday, following Nova Scotia’s provincial election, Solidarity With Alton Gas Resistance (SWAGR) hosted the first Truckhouse Solidarty Tent in Halifax. The purpose of this tent was to create a space in Halifax for people to gather, learn about Alton Gas, and act in resistance together – similar to what the truckhouse on the Shubenacadie River is often used for.
Dale Poulette, Dorene Bernard, and Carrie-Ellen Gabriel speak in Antigonish about the many reasons and ways to stop the Alton Gas project. Photo: Sam Webber.
This week I was in Antigonish hosting the second town hall on the Stop Alton Gas tour. It was great to bring the fight for water, climate, and equity to Antigonish, Nova Scotia’s hometown of co-operative business, ongoing adult education, and social justice.
The work of the chapters and staff in the Atlantic region has moved strongly towards building allied relationships with Indigenous peoples and supporting Indigenous led struggles for justice. I feel strongly, as many of you do, that as a person of settler descent I have a responsibility to learn about the Indigenous peoples in the place that I live and to support their efforts towards justice and self-determination. This month has been full of opportunities to build these relationships and increase knowledge about Indigenous issues.
Sipekne’katik community members have been fighting against the Alton Gas natural gas storage project for years, in the courts and on the land. Today, after a legal challenge by the band council, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia decided in favour of Sipekne’katik.