Opposition to the proposed Energy East Pipeline has taken to the streets once again in New Brunswick. A “Hands Across the Water” event was held Saturday in Fredericton. Organized by the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians, about 100 people marched to the Nashwaak River on the city’s north side.
If approved, Energy East would see more than one million barrels of Alberta bitumen run through several provinces, all the way to Saint John. The project has been stalled after the National Energy Board restarted the review process from scratch.
Opponents realize it doesn’t mean the project is dead in the water. “It goes through about 300 waterways in New Brunswick alone and about 800 or so in Quebec,” said Lynaya Astephen of the Saint John-based Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association. “A group of us from New Brunswick actually were in Quebec last week to bring awareness to the pipeline.”
Saturday’s “Hands Across the Water” march was organized by the Council of Canadians, which believes TransCanada does not have a credible project with Energy East. “TransCanada and the governments have not been forthcoming with public meetings,” said Mark D’Arcy of the Council’s Fredericton Chapter.
First Nations communities have been at the forefront of the issue in New Brunswick. Wolastoq Grand Council Grand Chief Ron Tremblay says although the National Energy Board public hearings have not been scheduled yet, he will be there as an intervenor. “We have strong oral traditions and oral stories about our waters and our creation story that goes along with our territory so we are going to present to the NEB board and we are going to be very firm with them and say ‘No.'”
Another “Hands Across the Water” event takes place next Saturday in Saint John.