Hundreds of protesters gathered in a New Brunswick community to rally against the proposed Energy East Pipeline Saturday.
TransCanada, the company behind the project, says environmental impact studies are being done to ensure the safety of the project, but those who live in the area are not convinced.
“You’re not going to come in and kill a bay, you’re not going to come in and put 10,000 fishermen out of work when there’s a spill. Not if, when,” said Madawaska lands officer Russ Letica.
The proposed pipeline would carry crude oil from Alberta to the Irving Refinery in Saint John. The community of Red Head, in Saint John, is where the pipeline would end and where a marine terminal would be built.
“It’s the end of the pipeline, it’s 18 tanks and a tanker farm plus a marine terminal as well. So it’s everything for us, not just a pipe in the ground,” said Leanne Sutton.
People from across New Brunswick and from other provinces attended the protest.
“With an export project like Energy East coming to Saint John, we’re going to see a major increase in marine traffic,” said Fundy Baykeeper Matt Abbott. “So tanker traffic, and with that comes greater risk to whales from being hit by ships, more noise which disrupts whales. Noise is very serious and damaging to whales, including our endangered Right Whale.”
Tim Duboyce, a spokesperson for the pipeline, refutes that idea.
“The actual area where we’re looking at a marine terminal and a tank farm are not within the critical habitat of the Right Whale in the Bay of Fundy,” Duboyce said.
He says several studies are being done to ensure the project won’t have an environmental impact.
“It’s a $12 billion project that represents $2.4 billion in private, unsubsidized investment in the province of New Brunswick. We’re talking about supporting the equivalent of more than 2,300 full-time direct and spinoff jobs during the construction.”
So far the project does not have an estimated start date.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ashley Blackford