Saint John chapter collects Bay of Fundy water for plea to Trudeau government

March in Read Head
Hundreds marched to the beach at Anthony's Cove Road on May 30, 2015 to say no to the Energy East pipeline.

The Council of Canadians Saint John chapter has collected water from the Bay of Fundy to send to Justin Trudeau as a gift so that he keeps in mind the consequences of the proposed Energy East pipeline.

In terms of what the East Saint John neighbourhood faces should the pipeline proceed, CTV has reported, "There are plans for a new marine terminal and a huge tank farm — to store oil prior to export — to be built in the area." More specifically, a 150-hectare tank farm capable of housing 7.6 million barrels of oil and heated bitumen would be situated right in the middle of the community. The project would also include a 183-hectare marine terminal complex at Red Head that would serve supertankers exporting 2.2 million barrels of bitumen on the Bay of Fundy.

The Saint John chapter works in partnership with the Red Head Anthony's Cove Preservation Association to oppose the Energy East project. The water chapter activists Lynaya Astephen collected comes from the beach at Anthony's Cove Road where more than 700 people took part in an 'End of the Line' protest march this past May.

On Nov. 7, activists will attempt to present this water - along with other bottles of water collected from waterways threatened by fossil fuel projects - to Prime Minister Trudeau. Our London chapter recently collected water from the Thames River while our Prince Albert chapter collected water from the North Saskatchewan River for this action.

Organizers note that a 'Welcoming Committee' will gather outside the Prime Minister's residence from Nov. 5 to Nov. 8 to remind him that people expect leadership on climate change. They highlight that on Nov. 7, "We’ll shine a spotlight on grassroots movements across Canada that have been fighting to defend their communities and our climate from reckless pipeline expansion. The gifts on this day will provide a powerful image of what’s at risk if these pipelines are built. We’re going to do this by providing water samples from the rivers, lakes and coastlines that tar sands pipelines would put at risk, and from water bodies that have already been poisoned as a result of the tar sands."

The Council of Canadians supports the reset button being pressed on the National Energy Board review of the 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East project and other pipelines currently under review given the Harper government had so fundamentally undermined the integrity, inclusivity and stringency of the review process.

We have signed the Leap manifesto which demands "no new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future" and asserts that we could have a 100 per cent clean economy by 2050. Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow also recently signed a statement that calls on governments to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and to freeze fossil fuel extraction by leaving 80 per cent of all existing fossil fuel reserves in the ground.

For more on the Climate Welcome, please see their webpage.

By Brent Patterson, Political Director, the Council of Canadians


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