Saint John-area community group becomes first of its kind to join Energy East opposition
Published Monday, May 4, 2015 7:44PM ADT
In Saint John, a new group is joining the opposition to the Energy East pipeline project: homeowners in Red Head.
The East Saint John neighbourhood is where the proposed pipeline is supposed to end, and 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.
There, the newly formed Red Head and Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association has become the first neighbourhood coalition to oppose the pipeline.
Barry Harrigan’s Red Head-area home boasts a spectacular view of the Bay of Fundy and sports one of the first signs opposing the project.
“If the wind is blowing the right way, it will be very bad for your health. I don’t think I’d want to be here,” Harrigan said.
“If this (tank) farm were to go through, personally I don’t think it will be safe for us to live here,” he said.
Along with health concerns, local opponents say there will only be a limited benefit to outweigh the risk.
TransCanada Corp. is promising a $12-billion project, but, according to the Red Head and Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association, the pipeline will create only a handful of permanent jobs after the construction is done.
The area is already home to several major oil and natural gas pipelines. Energy East opponents say the area has enough heavy industry.
Leanna Sutton is a member of the Red Head and Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association.
“Myself, I have a son that had to go out west. He’s a pipefitter. So it’s not that I don’t love pipefitters. I just don’t want them in my community, putting another pipeline in,” she said at a recent meeting of the group.
The proposed pipeline has brought together business, trades unions and most of the province’s political leadership as champions of the project, but Sutton and her group say they’re ready take on this goliath.
“There’s a lot of people backing us on this,” Sutton said.
Speaking at the same meeting, fellow member and local resident Lynaya Astephen said pipeline opponents in the Red Head area make up a vast majority.
“I’ve actually knocked on a lot of doors of my neighbours and I know how they feel and the majority of them, 99 per cent, do not want this project,” she said.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron