Stop Energy East organized a demonstration Saturday along Lake Nipissing, showing the path an oil spill would take, critically affecting the beaches.
From Kinsman Beach all the way down Lake Nipissing to Sunset Park, a black trail crossed the landscape of ice and snow on the frozen lake. This trail, at closer inspection, was but a group of skiers, snowshoes and hikers dressed in black, some with a large swath of black material trailing behind them.
Why the black clothes and sheets?
Well, if an oil spill from the Energy East pipeline were to happen to any of the waterways that feed Duchesnay Falls, the massive path they walked would be where the oil would progress.
“Today we really wanted to take a chance to help people visualize what would happen during an oil spill,” said Stop Energy East ‘Ski the Spill’ event organizer, Mike Ivany. “It would start here at Kinsman Beach and travel down further along through Marathon Beach where the park is, through the marina and continue on down.”
Dozens of supporters of all ages came out amidst the heavy snow to show support on Saturday afternoon to make the long trek along Lake Nipissing. Ivany said it was a real testament as to the progress they’ve made as a group, as well as how strongly the people of the area felt against such a dangerous pipeline for the environment.
He said it was especially concerning, not only because of the environmental damage a spill would cause, but also the disruption it would create for one of North Bay’s attractions: the beach.
“From people walking their dogs along the water, to families swimming, boating, fishing,” he said. “We’d lose it all.”
Catherine Murton Stoehr, a member of the organizing committee, highlighted the urgency of visible public opposition: “If we have learned anything from recent world events it’s that what seemed unimaginable yesterday can become reality overnight.”
Ivany said moving forward, he urges everyone to take the time to contact their MPs to ensure the voice against the pipeline is heard loud and clear. He was proud that the municipality of Callander, as well as Mayor Al McDonald have spoken out against the pipeline.
“We’ve seen some reaction based on when people have gotten together to voice concerns,” he said. “That’s what inspires us most, people are giving up time to come out and express their concern and show their support.”
Theia GeoAnalytics principle consultant Steve Courtney has posted a video model of the spill path to YouTube.
As posted on BayToday, 12 February 2017 at https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/this-is-what-an-oil-spill-would-do-to-our-lake-claims-environmental-group-534228