Fredericton’s drinking water would be at risk from an Energy East pipeline spill as identified in the Drinking Water Report released on April 6th. A detailed analysis of the proposed Energy East pipeline route shows that across Canada the project could lead to the contamination of crucial sources of drinking water not identified in TransCanada’s application.
“Our City Councillors have a duty of care to ask about the risks and impacts of this export tar sands pipeline proposed to cross over or beside our rivers, bays, and drinking water supplies,” says Garry Guild, a member from the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians.
“We are disappointed to learn that our City Council approved and sent this Letter of Support for this very controversial issue in the absence of an open and transparent debate during a regular Council meeting in which Frederictonians are allowed to attend,” says Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, a member of the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians. “This is more than just about a pipeline. It’s about public trust and the integrity of our elected officers. Decisions affecting the public being made secretly behind closed doors have no place in 2016.”
The decision also contradicts the position of the Wolastoq Grand Council which recently announced on February 8th their opposition to the Energy East pipeline. The pipeline would traverse their unceded traditional homeland through the Saint John River watershed, including the headwaters of the Nashwaak River which is north of Fredericton.
To date, the following one-sentence statement is the only response that members of the local chapter have received from the City Clerk’s Office of the City of Fredericton:
“The City of Fredericton was approached by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for a letter of support in relation to Trans Canada’s Energy East Project; and a letter was sent by Mayor Woodside, on behalf of City Council, to the Prime Minister of Canada confirming support.” (City Clerk’s Office, e-mail received April 05, 2016)
“With impending municipal elections (Monday, May 9th), the citizens of Fredericton need to vote for a Mayor and Councillors who are both accountable and transparent. This is how they gain our trust”, says Joan Green, a member of the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians.The Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians has launched a ‘Publicly Take Back The Letter’ campaign asking Fredericton City Council to publicly withdraw the letter before or at their Monday, April 25th meeting @ 7:30pm, the final Regular Meeting of City Council prior to the May 9th municipal election.