March over the Nashwaak River to highlight the secrecy & risks of the Energy East tar sands pipeline project

Secret-and-Classified

FREDERICTON, N.B. – A march will be held on Saturday, June 10th in Fredericton across the Nashwaak River, 1:00pm-1:45pm. Starting at 1:00pm, people will meet at the gravel parking area beside 955 Union Street (borders the Nashwaak River and is just below the overpass of the Walking Train Bridge), and then march across the trail bridge over the Nashwaak River.

This march is part of the ‘Hands Across The Water’ events held in June along the proposed tar sands Energy East pipeline route in New Brunswick. This event is organized by the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians.

“New Brunswick and Indigenous communities have been left in the dark about the route and the risks of the Energy East tar sands pipeline project,” says Mark D’Arcy with the Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter. “Since 2014, there have been no public meetings (except one in Edmundston over the pipeline risk to their drinking water), no Provincial Environmental Impact Assessment, no community notices along the pipeline route, and no readable maps.”

“Since 2015, both the City of Fredericton and the Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter have asked TransCanada to hold a public meeting for Fredericton residents and conduct a spill modelling study of a tar sands bitumen pipeline spill into the Nashwaak River,” says Mark D’Arcy. “We are still waiting two (2) years later.”

“There are 3 tributaries crossed by the pipeline at the head of the Nashwaak River,” says Jean Louis Deveau, Chair of the Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter. “A spill into any one of these in the middle of the night could go undetected, spreading quickly down the entire stretch of the Nashwaak River to Fredericton. There is no current technology that allows the tar sands bitumen to be captured by booms, and fully cleaned up from the bottom sediment where it sticks aggressively, as documented in the catastrophic spills in the North Saskatchewan River in 2016 and the Kalamazoo River in 2010.”

“The risks and consequences of a tar sands bitumen spill are simply too great for our watersheds and our homes,” says Mark D’Arcy. “More than 380 waterways in New Brunswick would be crossed by the Energy East pipeline. If you live close to a stream, river, or bay where a bitumen spill would spread (releasing life-threatening toxic gas requiring immediate evacuation), the installation of early-warning air sirens, a 1.6km Emergency Evacuation Zone for all residents, and lowered property resale values would become the new reality for your home, cottage, or farm.”

“Considering the size and risk of the project, the lack of readable maps available to public and communities along the proposed pipeline route in New Brunswick is a travesty to the National Energy Board’s stated mandate that the review process be “fair, transparent and respectful”, says Mark D’Arcy. “Our communities deserve online maps that are understandable and easy to read. These maps are contrasted by the easy-to-read and understandable maps, as well as a zoomable map on their website, provided by Kinder Morgan for their Trans Mountain Project on the west coast.”

“And it is important to show our solidarity with the Wolastoqewiyik (Maliseet People), since the Energy East pipeline would cut across the entire length of their ancestral territory, a territory based on the watershed boundaries of the St. John River Basin,” says Jean Louis Deveau. “The Wolastoq Grand Council held a press conference in Fredericton on January 29, 2016 to announce they were opposed to the Energy East pipeline.”

“Right here at this location we are reminded of two recent events that give us grave concern about the ability of our province to regulate this pipeline properly and protect our waterways,” says Jean Louis Deveau. “First, Irving Oil, a partner with TransCanada in the Energy East project, was not ordered to clean up their property directly across Union Street after they removed their oil storage tanks in 2003. As reported by CBC New Brunswick, the Department of Environment and Local Government refused to discuss the soil contamination citing “it is protected under the Privacy Act.”

“Second, the failure to insist that the proposed Sisson Brook be developed as a dry mine, and to insist on large bonds up front for cleanup, compensation, and reclamation,” says Jean Louis Deveau. “The integrity of the Sission Brook tailings pond, located at the head waters of the Nashwaak River, has to be maintained forever; it is important to remember that the Mount Polley tailings pond was only 20 years old when it had the catastrophic failure. Instead of the proposed $50 million reclamation bond, the Province of New Brunswick should insist on a mine reclamation bond of at least $750 million which would cover the cost of dealing with the open pit mine and treating the tailings pond with a wastewater treatment plant.”

“It’s our future too”, says Tina Oh, a recent recipient of the Starfish ‘Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25’. “Canada will be unable to meet our greenhouse gas climate targets for 2030 if we build these tar sands pipelines. Young people, your children, don’t want runaway climate change. We don’t want survival. We deserve more than that. We want our future to include a clean & just transition for workers & communities.”

Tina Oh and friends from Mount Allison University have started a social media campaign to show support for these anti-Energy East events this month. They are asking people to post a photo of yourself or with friends with a sheet of paper(s) saying ‘the future I want includes’….” #HandsAcrossTheWater

“We prefer that we move into the direction of alternative energy – something that sustains life, not destroys it”, says Clanmother Alma Brooks. ” There’s a worldwide movement happening. Renewables are now cheaper than fossil fuels so there is no reason to delay.”

The final Hands Across The Water event is on Saturday, June 17th in Red Head (Saint John). Starting at 1:00pm, the 2nd ‘March to the End of the Line’ starts at the intersection of Red Head Road and Hewitt Road, the parade takes ~ 30 minutes, and arrives at Anthony’s Cove Road for a picnic on the shore of the Bay of Fundy. This family event ends at 4:00pm. This event is organized by Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association.


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Don’t let the Energy East project cost the taxpayers of Saint John, cautions Red Head community group to Saint John Common Council

RedHeadSAINT JOHN – A community group of Red Head residents will make a presentation entitled ‘How much will the taxpayers of Saint John pay for Energy East?’ to Saint John Common Council this Monday night, June 27th @ 6:00pm.   The Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association share the same concern with Saint John Common Council that there is a long list of unanswered questions from TransCanada about the risks and liabilities of the proposed Energy East project.   The community group will ask Council to forward their questions to the City’s NEB Working Group who can add them to their ongoing Informal Information Requests (IRs) and future Formal IRs to TransCanada.

“If there was a spill or explosion, everyone in the city would be affected,“ says Lynaya Astephen, spokesperson for Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association.  “We will all pay if the City of Saint John does not get assurances that all the proper liability insurance, bonds, and written agreements will be in place.  We are asking that Saint John Common Council provide assurances that the taxpayers will not bear any costs of the construction, operation, spills, explosions, or fire of the proposed Energy East project.”

“The complex structure of shell companies for this project is a big red flag,” says Lynaya Astephen. “Why will the pipeline, tank farm, and marine terminal be built by money provided by TransCanada PipeLines Limited and Irving Oil Company Limited but they will be owned by different companies, both of which are limited partnership companies? (1)  Will Saint John Common Council request this information so that this limited liability structure can be explained to the taxpayers of Saint John?”

“Municipal governments have a fiduciary duty to make sure companies operating in their jurisdiction carry unlimited liability guarantees,” says Teresa Debly, a member of the Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association.  “Right now there is too much uncertainly over the risks and the financial liability, so we don’t feel safe. Is this the reason why over 340 municipalities in Quebec made the decision to officially oppose the proposed Energy East project?”

“Their concern about the financial liability is justified.  A tar sands bitumen spill is very difficult and expensive to clean up,” says Mark D’Arcy, NB Energy East campaigner for the Council of Canadians.  “The Energy East will also carry some conventional oil, but it is primarily an export tar sands pipeline.  The Mayor of Edmundston, Cyrille Simard, and the Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, have publicly stated that the cost of a major spill in their watersheds could reach several billion and ten billion, respectively.   Unfortunately, under the amended Pipeline Safety Act which came into force on June 19th, the pipeline company is only liable for costs and damages of a spill up to $1 billion.”

“Our confidence in both TransCanada and the National Energy Board is tenuous,” says Mark D’Arcy. “Of the 99 questions requested by the City’s NEB Working Group,  TransCanada failed to answer, or provided incomplete answers, for 64 of them. (2)  And the Federal Government Audit released in January 2016 found that the National Energy Board was failing at their critical role as regulator of pipeline companies. (3)

“Why couldn’t TransCanada propose something cleaner?” adds Teresa Debly. “TransCanada has invested over $5 billion in solar, wind and hydro projects so why can’t they do these projects right now in our province? Our upcoming provincial carbon tax could be used to have companies like TransCanada build publicly-owned systems.  We eliminate the risks with clean energy, and as the saying goes, ‘Whenever there is a huge spill of solar energy, it’s just called a nice day.”


(1) “Energy East Pipeline Limited Partnership will own all the facilities comprising the Project except for the Canaport Energy East marine terminal, which will be owned by Canaport Energy East Marine Terminal Limited Partnership.” “Energy East Pipeline Ltd. is the applicant and will hold the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) in respect of the entire Project, including the Canaport Energy East marine terminal.”

Energy East Pipeline Ltd., 2016.  Consolidated Application. Volume 3: Commercial. 4.0 FINANCING, May, 4p.  Retrieved at https://docs.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/llisapi.dll/fetch/2000/90464/90552/2432218/2540913/2543426/2995824/2957699/A76908%2D5_V3_Sec4_Financing_%2D_A5A0J7.pdf?nodeid=2957264&vernum=1

 

(2)  City of Saint John, 2016.  Attachment D:  Summary of TransCanada’s Responses to the City of Saint John’s Informal Information Requests (IRs).  City of Saint John Informal Information Request No. 1.  Included in Saint John Common Council Agenda Packet, April 18, p. 336-443.  Retrieved at http://documents.saintjohn.ca/weblink/0/edoc/77299/2016-04-18_Agenda%20Packet–Dossier%20de%20lordre%20du%20jour.pdf

(3)  Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2016. Report 2—Oversight of Federally Regulated Pipelines. 2015 Fall Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. January, 35p. Retrieved at http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_cesd_201601_02_e_41021.html


 

Residents, Groups, and Wolastog Grand Council launch a province-wide campaign to install artwork along the proposed Energy East pipeline route

Press Conference – Crown Plaza Fredericton, Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 11:00am

Residents, groups and the Wolastoq Grand Council will launch a province-wide initiative to engage communities across New Brunswick to install artwork along the proposed Energy East pipeline route.  This is an initiative sponsored by the Peace and Friendship Alliance.

The following will be included at the head table:

– Alma Brooks (Wolastoq Grand Council)
– Mark D’Arcy (Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter)
– Leslie Hillman (Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association)
– Don McDonald (resident in the Nashwaak watershed who compiled the co-ordinates for the waterway crossings of the pipeline across New Brunswick)
– Marilyn Merritt-Gray (Belleisle Bay resident)

We invite you to our press conference on Thursday, May 19th at 11:00am at the Crown Plaza Hotel in downtown Fredericton.


 

Wolastoq Grand Council Addresses the Energy East Pipeline

Wolastoqsaysno

The Wolastoq Grand Council represents the non-ceded homeland of the Wolastoqewiyik who occupy the homeland and waterways as follows: North – Wolastoq River (aka St.John River which flows from Maine to the Bay of Fundy), South – Kenepek River (aka Kennebec), East – Supeq (aka Atlantic Ocean), and West – Wahsipekuk (aka St. Lawrence River).

As members of the Wolastoq Grand Council we unanimously oppose the Energy East Pipeline Project in order to protect our non-ceded homeland and waterways, our traditional and cultural connection to our lands, waterways, and air. The Wolastoq Grand Council has serious concerns for the safety and protection of the animals, fish, birds, insects, plants and tree life that sustains our Wolastoq Nation.

The Wolastoq Grand Council recognizes and values the statements made by the Federal Government on January 27, 2016 to consult with Indigenous Nations with respect to the project of our Ancestral Homeland. The Wolastoq Grand Council is willing to meet with the Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and other senior personnel in critical discussions that are consistent with our Peace and Friendship Treaties in a Nation-to-Nation relationship. There is a legal duty of the Crown to address and support our concerns due to the inadequacy of the National Energy Board process.

The Wolastoq Grand Council will expect from the appropriate Crown delegate and provincial representative, a written acceptance of our traditional philosophy, and our rejection of the Energy East tar sands pipeline as soon as possible.


 

Directly Affected: Where We Live

WHAT MOTIVATES ORDINARY PEOPLE TO STAND UP TO MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR ENERGY GIANTS?

Directly Affected is a documentary project about the battle between everyday people and a multibillion-dollar energy industry. Right now, a Houston-based energy company intends to transport 890,000 barrels of unrefined Alberta Tarsands oil to BC’s coast through the Trans Mountain pipeline. Millions of barrels will be stored in our communities and over 400 tankers will ship the diluted bitumen through the Salish Sea to foreign markets every year. Our first documentary brought together the disparate voices of individuals and communities not being heard by decision makers. In this series, we go to regions across the province to meet the courageous people who are standing up for democracy, local economies, their environment and a better future for all.