Press release and photos from today’s action:

Over 200 people joined in a rally held at City Hall today calling for a rejection of the proposed Energy East pipeline. Over 60 people were involved earlier in a 12 kilometre walk and paddle along the Rideau River from Vincent Massey Park to City Hall. The event was organized to send a strong message of concern and opposition by residents of Ottawa.

“We’re very much concerned about the local impacts, which could poison our waterways with a spill, including the Rideau River. But we’re also opposed to this pipeline because it facilitates the reckless expansion of Alberta’s Tar Sands, when we must instead do everything possible to stop climate change. This is really an Energy Waste pipeline,” stated Ben Powless, Community Organizer for Ecology Ottawa.

Photo: Ecology Otttawa/flikcr.com
“The Energy East pipeline is not about solving Canada’s energy needs. It’s about getting tar sands bitumen to ships in New Brunswick, and shipping it to the highest bidder. The only reason TransCanada wants to build this pipeline is because of the fierce opposition to pipelines through B.C. and the U.S., opposition that will only grow to match the size of this proposed pipeline,” said Andrea Harden, Energy and Climate Campaigner for the Council of Canadians.

“Over 100 First Nations communities could be impacted by this pipeline, from frontline communities in Alberta to coastal First Nations in New Brunswick. The government must respect the international rights to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent when First Nations communities reject this and any other pipeline from their communities,” said Clayton Thomas-Muller, National Campaigner for Idle No More.

Photo: Ecology Ottawa/Flickr.com

“If this pipeline is built, any minute spill could irrevocably poison our waterways and aquifers. Those of us who live near the pipeline are being asked to bear all the risk, with no benefit. We must not allow this pipeline to be approved,” stated Ian Angus, a member of Sustainable North Grenville who lives near the proposed pipeline’s path. 

The event organizers also called for participants at the rally to continue to sign Ecology Ottawa’s petition, which has gathered nearly 2,400 signatures, and for people to attend TransCanada’s open hearing on October 10th in Stittsville to send their message directly to the company.