KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The recently released documentary Saving the Shubenacadie is about the efforts of Alton Natural Gas Storage to create large caverns to store liquid gas near Stewiacke. While creating the caverns the company will dump brine in the tidal Shubenacadie river.
It’s also about the people in the area who want nothing of it. The documentary shows ordinary people just living their lives and loving their rural communities until Alton Gas arrived on the scene.
Now they’re scared and angry.
Residents, fishers, biologists,and members of the Sipekne’katik Band are opposed to the project because of concerns about the brittle ecology of the river. Many also worry about the risks of living in close proximity to potentially explosive supplies of liquid gas stored underground.
As is so often the case in Nova Scotia, residents were told little of the company’s plans beforehand.
People in the video talk about being completely taken by surprise when construction began, contrary to Alton Gas’ claims that all kinds of consultation occurred. In fact, aboriginal and treaty rights of the Sipekne’katik Band were essentially ignored.
Provincial environment minister Margaret Miller has dismissed appeals by the Sipekne’katik Band, fishers and environmental organizations.
An appeal of Miller’s decision by the Sipekne’katik Band is still before the courts. The court hearing for that appeal is scheduled for August 17-18 in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax. Allies are encouraged to attend.
The documentary was filmed and produced by Nova Scotia author and filmmaker Jerry Lockett.