André Faust: I’m here with Mark D’Arcy of the Council of Canadians. In your press release, you made reference to secrecy in relationship to the pipeline. In what context do you mean that?
Mark D’Arcy: Energy will be the largest pipeline project ever constructed here in North America. There is a two-year review process, it been held up because a controversy and the original National Energy Board Panel actually was forced to resign and so this whole project has been delayed. One obstacle after another being put off by the government’s unwillingness to be public with the law of risks associated with the tar sands and the bitumen pipeline.
So here in New Brunswick, we had no public meetings only one by the city of Edmunston because of their watershed, drinking water watershed being traversed by the proposed pipeline route that is it!
No other public meetings in the province whatsoever over the last three years four years this project review, and why is that. The waterways you see in behind men the St. John River, the Nashwaak River, multiple crossings by this long pipeline route over the tributaries leading into these rivers system.
Tar sand bitumen is very different from conventional oil it will actually form tar balls and then those sink to the bottom and aggressively stick to the sentiment. Very, very difficult to get the lion’s share 20 to 30 percent of the bitumen will stick to these waterways after a major spill as seen by the North Saskatchewan River as seen last year as well as the Kalamazoo River in Michigan back in 2010.
A lot of these risks of the tar sand bitumen pipeline the government and its proponents, TransCanada and Irving do not want the public to know about them.
The watershed there is catastrophic long-term damage to the waterways and acutely the communities along the pipeline route there is a severe acute health risk to be exposed to a tar sand bitumen pipeline spill.
There would have to be early warning air raid sirens installed in the communities along the waterways where a potential spill would enter. People would have to be evacuated immediately because of the very neural toxic chemicals that are used to dilute the tar sands bitumen.
This is not something you fool around with and unfortunately there are has been no real math provided, no community notification along the pipeline route here in New Brunswick, and you when you look at the accumulative effect of all of that, people have been left in the dark. So there is complete secrecy by TransCanada, by Irving, by the lobbyist which includes the government of New Brunswick and the Government of Canada, and they don’t want the community to know one; the route and two; the extreme risk that tar sands bitumen pipe line will put their watershed at.
Look what they done to my yard ma! The words uttered after a catastrophic environmental disaster cause by Industry and the profiteers.
Today we are launching the harmony project, a pipeline art project throughout over 400 kilometres of proposed pipeline route of the energy east of the pipeline in the Province of New Brunswick, today the people of this province are taking a lead in mapping out the proposed route of this huge 42 inch tar sands pipeline.
This is a public awareness and opposition building campaign. The reason for this campaign is that communities across this province have been kept in the dark about the exact route of the proposed tar sand pipeline and the risk and impact of this pipeline to their communities.
TransCanada, the National Energy board and Brian Gallant’s government have failed to provide even basic information such as easy to read and understandable maps. This is in contrast to the Kinder Morgan trans mountain pipeline proposal on the west coast of Canada where the National Energy board and that company the public can easily access zoomable maps of the pipeline route and easy to read and access detail maps.
Here the TransCanada, National Energy Board, Brian Gallant’s government have failed to provide public meetings. They have failed to provide writes and impacts specific to New Brunswick through province environmental impact assessments, and they have failed to provide even the basic maps of the route through our New Brunswick Communities.
The question that I ask to everyone today. Would you trust a large resource company and government that refuses to answer questions in public? and would you trust large resource company and government that refuses to provide the basic tools and maps to understand where the pipeline is going through their water shed and community?
I really see the Harmony Project, I like just like provide a few closing comments, the Harmony Project really is the people in this province taking command of the situation. The time line has just been announced by the National Energy Board for the Energy East review process, and we have panel meetings starting as early as September this fall here in this province, and TransCanada, the province of New Brunswick, National Energy Board have basically run out of time.
The citizens of this province, the indigenous people who we share this land with we have to take control of the situation.
The Harmony Project I see is a celebration of the intelligence the resilience and the history of this amazing part of the world and Anglophone, francophone we make up a small percentage maybe two or three percent of the human history of this province. The Harmony Project embraces the huge history times an memorial.
We have the creation the tree of life on the Harmony Project poster. The artwork that we are using is from the indigenous culture, and I think that all of us the Anglophone, the Francophone, the indigenous communities are coming together in harmony to show that we are all connected by this huge vast water basin. It is one of the largest watershed on the eastern seaboard and it’s the worst possible location for forty-two-inch tar sand pipeline.
What was City Council thinking when they held a closed private meeting behind the public’s back on January 25, 2016 to approve sending a letter of support for the construction of the Energy East Pipeline to the Prime Minister without consulting its citizens first?
Haven’t they learned anything from the screw up they did with Occupy Fredericton where they paid out an out of court settlement of 14,350$ to the plaintiffs because the city operated outside the law when they ordered the demolition of the Occupy Camp.
An inside source has leaked that prior to meeting some councilors present express serious concerns about the legality of holding this clandestine meeting without the public’s knowledge and the political backlash that could arise should the public find out.
The Municipalities act clearly states what meetings can be held privy to the public and which meetings can’t.
Yet council proceeded move ahead to honour the request from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to send a letter of support to Prime-Minister Trudeau.
The City of Edmundston did it right, they consulted with their citizens first before making their decision to oppose the construction of the pipe line. The city asked for a guarantee from energy east that there were no chances of any contamination from the Energy east pipeline. Since 2009 there has, on average 2 catastrophic breaches per year.
Considering the risks, Edmundston Mayor Cyrille Simard told CBC “the city’s water source is not negotiable” and “C’est le rôle du conseil municipal de protéger les intérêts de la population”, meaning it is the responsibility of a city council to protect the interests of it’s citizens, which the city of Fredericton has failed miserably to do so by making their decision incognito to the public.
The city to date has refused to answer any questions from the media in regards to the legality of the meeting and the lack of consultation with its citizen. With an election around the corner what do you expect?
In light that the city was in error to approve the letter to send to Trudeau, The city of Fredericton Now needs to do the honorable thing and Take Back the Letter!
(FREDERICTON) The local Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians punked TransCanada last night at the Fredericton Convention Centre. TransCanada was the official ‘Premier’s Reception Sponsor’ of Premier Brian Gallant’s 2016 State of the Province Address.
Volunteer members of the Council of Canadians chapter handed out “Free Drink Tickets” with the logo ‘SaveCanada’ to people entering the Convention Centre (see attached pictures of tickets). Maggie Connell of the chapter explains, “On the back of the tickets were messages that drew attention to the considerable risks that the Energy East pipeline project would have for our drinking water as well as our future economic prosperity.”
This attention on the dangers of Energy East is well-deserved.
Trans Canada continues to hold out hope for its proposed Energy East pipeline that would see tar sands BITUMEN pumped from Alberta to the Fundy Bay for storage and export, 1.1 million barrels of the stuff every day. Doesn’t sound too bad if you say it fast. 281 is not really such a big number either – that’s how many critical waterways it would cross along its journey through New Brunswick, many of those representing the sole drinking water supply for entire communities. Shhhh…. TransCanada must plan carefully to bring their pipe dream to fruition without attracting too much public attention. But how?
1. Negotiate with public officials and without the presence of the public. Last week a leaked document, drafted by the Edmundston City Council, highlighting conditions to be met by TransCanada: 1. That TC must identify an alternate to the area’s sole drinking water source, 2. That TC must construct and maintain a water treatment plant and 3. That TC undertake cleanup costs in the event of a spill. (Note: In speaking of the dangers to the Montreal drinking water, Mayor Denis Coderre said that “A major oil spill in the region could cost $10 billion.”) Council has scheduled an open public meeting on Feb.11th to hear citizen’s concerns. OOPS.
2. Control information to the public by: a) Holding trade-show style information sessions where discussions are kept to one-on-one. (Citizens must never be able to measure the degree of social opposition.) And evict all citizens who ask too many questions; b) Deny all official requests for open public meetings, especially from the community of Red Head, Fredericton City Council, and the Wolastoq Grand Council; c) Simply lie. Tell them (with confidence) that bitumen, the heavy tar sands planned for the pipes, floats on water and is easily recovered in the off-chance of a spill, and hope they don’t check the facts. OOPS.
3. Conduct slight-of-hand spill analysis studies, quietly replacing the offending BITUMEN with Bakken crude oil, thereby generating more favourable data. That the unconventional BITUMEN is vastly different to this shale oil and conventional oil, in both its composition and behaviour, shouldn’t matter much – aren’t New Brunswickers mostly illiterate anyway? OOPS.
4. Sponsor high-end events where participants are those most likely to cooperate and entrance fees are sufficiently stiff enough to keep out the riffraff.
The 2016 State Of The Province address was held last night at the Fredericton Convention Centre. The $250/person event included a Premier’s Reception, sponsored by none other than TransCanada. The elite event attracted a sold out crowd of business leaders… and some ‘riffraff’. OOPS.
As business folks filed into the convention centre last night, they were met by a number of suits who politely directed them and passed out free tickets, entitling the bearer to the following:
– Free water treatment facility for your community;
– Free location services for alternate drinking water sources for your community;
– First $1 Billion of a possible $2-10 Billion cleanup for a spill in your local waterway or Bay;
– Miss Out on funding from the new $17 Billion Federal Infrastructure program for clean economy projects; and
– Free job counselling services for your community, post-pipeline construction.
Despite the National Energy Board’s recent failing grade from the Federal Commissioner of the Environment, this press release will be sent by registered letter to the National Energy Board from the Council of Canadians, Fredericton Chapter, to be properly documented as part of the review process, under ‘citizen input’. New Brunswickers shall NOT be duped.
Quebec environmental group, Centre Québécois du droit de l’environment (CQDE), and property owner France Lamonde sought an injunction in a federal court on Tuesday, Feb. 10, to suspend the National Energy Board hearings of the Energy East pipeline project for a lack of official documentation in French. In Ontario, First Nations leaders are demanding the National Energy Board halt its review of TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East project until they can be properly consulted.
A second pipeline rupture spilled crude oil into Yellowstone River in Missouri on Jan. 25, 2015. Anyone concerned with oil pipelines crossing rivers should read this reportabout pipeline companies’ underestimatation of a river’s power. TransCanada’s Energy East oil pipeline plans to cross many of New Brunswick’s mighty rivers, including the St. John and Miramichi.
Back in New Brunswick, Opposition MLA Jake Stewart is asking for unanimous support from New Brunswick MLAs to tell the provinces of Ontario and Quebec to mind their business on Energy East and leave it to the National Energy Board to decide the fate of the proposed oil pipeline.
Only 21 days to have your say!
This might sound a bit silly, but yes, folks, you have to apply to have your say about the Energy East oil pipeline proposal! Even if you just want to write a letter outlining your concerns about the project, you still have to apply for permission.
Who can apply?
New federal government rules say only people directly affected by a project or those who have relevant information or expertise about the impact of a project can participate in the NEB hearing. The new rules stifle public input, but there are still lots of ways that YOU have relevant information or expertise to share:
Do you own a home or parcel of land near the proposed route? You can tell the NEB how an oil slick isn’t exactly what you were thinking when you bought the kids a slip-n-slide for the yard.
Do you hunt or fish near the pipeline route? You can explain to the NEB why you’re worried the mighty Atlantic Salmon just won’t have the same fight in her when she’s bogged down in thick, gooey bitumen.
Are you a tourism operator in the Bay of Fundy? You can explain to the NEB why you don’t think the World’s Highest Tides would look as nice if they revealed a seafloor of little tiny tarballs, or how uneasy you feel about the idea of increased tanker traffic on a collision course with the Bay’s majestic Right Whale.
Are you a First Nation person? You can describe how unfair and difficult it will be to use the land for its traditional, cultural purpose when there is the scourge of a massive steel cylinder cutting straight through it.
Are you a doctor or nurse? You can tell the NEB how your office will be overrun by new patients suffering from the negative health impacts of stress caused by sleepless nights and anxiety-filled days as they worry over the inevitable oil spills that will forever change the face of this beautiful province.
But in all seriousness, folks, it is critical that New Brunswickers tell the NEB what they think of this pipeline project. We need to stand up together for our water, whales and the Bay of Fundy!
Call our office if you need help completing the application, or call us just to get started. One of our friendly staff will walk you through it! (506-458-8747)
List of issues NEB is considering
In your application to participate, you have to talk about things related to the list of issues the NEB is considering for this project. Those issues are: economic feasibility, environmental and socio-economic impacts, potential pipeline spills, impacts on Aboriginal interest, environmental and socio-economic effects of increased marine shipping, and impacts on landowners and land-use. Basically, all the stuff we talked about earlier in this email. What the NEB is not considering, however, are important ‘upstream’ impacts such as tar sands development, nor ‘downstream impacts’ including climate change. Seems like a bit of an oversight to leave those things out, but, if you are planning to apply for funding or to participate in the NEB hearing, your input must be related to the NEB’s list of issues.
Why is your voice so important?
This is the first oil pipeline to be built through the length of our province, snaking its way across hundreds of acres of farmland and woodlots. Its route crosses vital rivers, lakes and streams such as the St. John, Miramichi, Tobique, Salmon, and Madawaska rivers, Coal Creek, which drains into Grand Lake, and ends right beside the iconic Bay of Fundy, putting thousands of jobs and livelihoods at risk.
Your participation is even more important due to changes introduced by the federal government in 2012 about how these types of projects are reviewed. Public input to environmental assessment was restricted, environmental laws were weakened, and now pipelines crossing provincial borders only have to be evaluated by the National Energy Board, not by our own provincial Department of Environment. These changes stifle important public concerns that must be heard and your voice is needed now more than ever before!
Please share this update far and wide, especially with your family, friends, neighbours and folks you think would be eligible to participate in the NEB hearing. We need as many New Brunswickers involved in this process as possible in order to protect our water, whales and the beautiful Bay of Fundy!