More than 80 organizations in southern Ontario and Quebec, impacted indigenous communities, as well as national organizations have released a statement letter to the Prime Minister condemning the recent National Energy Board (NEB) approval of Enbridge Inc’s Line 9 Reversal project. The letter demands new NEB hearings on the pipeline project. Enbridge recently confirmed through media reports that Bakken Shale oil from the west is now flowing through Line 9 to refineries in Montreal.
The civil society groups call on Justin Trudeau and the government to honour their election promise to revamp the mandate of the NEB to include both the upstream and downstream effects of tar sands production on both existing and new pipeline projects. Line 9 is a repurposed 40 year-old pipeline never designed to carry fracked, potentially explosive Bakken Shale oil or heavy and corrosive tar sands diluted bitumen. Richard Kuprewicz, a pipeline safety expert, predicts that there is a 90% likelihood Line 9 will have a major oil spill within the first five years of operation.
The authors of the statement letter insist “The approval of the Line 9B pipeline and the current ‘Leave to Open’ status, were decisions imposed on residents of Canada, including Indigenous people, by a non-elected regulator composed of biased corporate actors prioritizing industry goals and objectives. The present government has advised that “it is important that [the federal government] acknowledge mistakes when we make them,” and it is our strongly-held conviction that the prior government’s support for the NEB structure and review process has resulted in an erroneous decision that threatens communities, water sources, local ecosystems, and the planet.”
The endorsing organizations from across the region call on the federal government to halt the operation of Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline until a proper assessment can be carried out to ensure that:
- the health and safety of millions of people along the Line 9 route are properly safeguarded
- the inherent and the treaty rights of indigenous communities are respected
- the impact of tar sands production on the climate change is properly evaluated
Ongoing resistance from indigenous communities and environmental activists from across the country have prevented Line 9 and other pipeline projects from gaining the social license from the most affected communities essential in a democratic society.
A copy of the letter to the Prime Minister is available here
- East End Against Line 9 – 80 Groups Call for Halt of Enbridge’s Line 9
- Huffington Post – Oléoduc 9B d’Enbridge : le fédéral doit arrêter le projet en attendant la réforme de l’ONÉ, selon 80 groupes communautaires
- Le Devoir – Des groupes demandent à Justin Trudeau de stopper le transport de pétrole
- Le Journal des Alternatives
- Ensemble contre les sables bitumineux (image sur Facebook)