STEWIACKE – Water protectors at the Alton Gas site near Stewiacke have received support from a Halifax-born, Hollywood actress.
On Twitter, Oscar-winning actress Ellen Page threw her support behind Mi’kmaq land protectors who have been opposing a controversial plan to use water from the Shubenacadie River to create huge underground caverns to store natural gas for a dozen years.
In her tweet, Page asked her 1.48 million followers to “sign this petition to support our environment and indigenous rights!! Mi’kmaq water protectors have been protesting Alton Gas in Nova Scotia to save our land and water.”
For the past 12 years, Alton Gas has been working on the project to pump water from the Shubenacadie River to an underground site some 12 kilometres away. It will be used to flush out salt deposits, creating 15 caverns.
The leftover brine solution would then be pumped back into the river over a two- to three-year period.
Alton Gas told The Canadian Press it has scientific studies showing the brine will not hurt the environment.
“Brine release at Alton has been extensively studied, both during the project’s provincial environmental assessment and the independent review led by the Mi’kmaq – the recommendations from which we are fully committed to implementing,” the company said in a statement to Canadian Press.
Page, an Oscar-nominated actress, has previously spoken about her responsibility to put a spotlight on the efforts of marginalized communities that are disproportionately impacted by environmental disasters and environmental racism.
She has been a vocal critic of a plan by Northern Pulp to direct its mill’s treated effluent to an outfall in the Northumberland Strait. The need to move the effluent outflow arose when the provincial government mandated Northern Pulp must close and remediate its existing treatment plant in Boat Harbour, located near the Pictou Landing First Nation.