The Council of Canadians is working with landowners in New Brunswick whose property would be crossed by the proposed 1.1 million barrel per day TransCanada Energy East pipeline.
Fredericton-based Council of Canadians campaigner Mark D'Arcy has been meeting with landowners over the past year to hear their concerns and provide information to them. He has been focusing on the watershed regions of Washademoak Lake, Belleisle Bay, Kennebecasis Bay and River, Bay of Fundy, Upper Saint John River, and Grand Lake. To date, D'Arcy has compiled a list of about 40 landowners in New Brunswick concerned about the pipeline.
He has also been providing these landowners with our When TransCanada Comes Knocking: Living along the proposed Energy East pipeline path toolkit.
Landowners have controversially been blocked from attending community liaison meetings on the pipeline.
In Oct. 2015, D'Arcy was with nine landowners and residents who requested to sit as observers at a TransCanada Energy East Pipeline Community Liaison Committee meeting in Saint John. The entrance to the meeting room was blocked by a security guard who informed them that only members of the committee were permitted at the meeting.
At that time, Red Head community resident Teresa Debly stated, "Several residents who have considerable experience with other industrial community committees, including myself, have repeatedly requested to be accepted as Committee members, but have been denied each time by TransCanada. Back in February , I was utterly shocked when TransCanada hired a retired police officer to prevent landowners from attending these meetings. We are calling upon TransCanada to immediately open up their Community Liaison Committee meeting.”
Saint John area landowner Colin Seeley added, "It’s a straw horse; it’s dishonest that TransCanada will go to National Energy Board and use this Community Liaison Committee as fulfilling part of their community outreach and consultation. As a person with a proposed pipeline running across my property, I have not been contacted since TransCanada cancelled Cacouna, when it was announced that the project was being delayed for two years. Meanwhile, TransCanada has been pushing ahead with work on the project such as the recent borehole testing in Red Head."
At a Nov. 2015 media conference organized by D'Arcy, Seeley also commented, "I have been denied twice to attend [TransCanada's] so-called Community Liaison Committee. As an affected landowner I find that very strange they don't want to talk to the landowner. It appears to me that there is little or no co-ordination between the emergency agencies such as the police, fire, ambulance, emergency response, etc. that would be able to rally in any kind of meaningful way should an event occur. I would like to see some sort of community plan put together that addresses these issues."
D'Arcy continues to meet with landowners on an ongoing basis, to hear their stories about how TransCanada is unwilling to adequately consult with them or answer their questions, to help connect landowners and Indigenous peoples, to assist landowners to speak out against Energy East, and to provide information to landowners about their legal rights with respect to easement agreements.
For more on our Energy East campaign in New Brunswick, please see www.noenergyeastnb.ca.