On June 18, the Canadian government’s National Energy Board (NEB)–an independent economic regulatory agency for pipelines, power lines, and oil and gas importation–imposed further conditions on Enbridge Inc.’s controversial Line 9B pipeline reversal project, stating that it must perform hydrostatic testing along three of its segments before it officially begins shipping crude oil. The thirty-eight-year old pipeline that runs between Sarnia and Montreal was supposed to begin its operations last Fall.
While the NEB has reported only seven oil spills, a CTV W5 investigation revealed last year that Line 9B has had at least 35 of such incidences. This aging pipeline, along with others in Ontario, continue to affect the nearby ecosystems, lands, and waters that Indigenous and other communities live and thrive on.
“It’s an industrial genocide [against Indigenous people]. These companies are on stolen land. They continue to release and spill and expand with more projects that continue to put our health at risk,” said Vanessa Gray, a member of Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines, in an interview with CKUT’s Emma Noradounkian. She discussed how this project threatens Indigenous communities and ways of resisting the pipeline project and other pipelines in the province of Ontario.
At around 6:30am on October 7, four women locked themselves to the games of a Suncor oil refinery in Montreal’s east end to take direct action against the tar sands and Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline. Enbridge is hoping to reverse the flow of Line 9 by November 1st in order to bring tar sands Bitumen from the west towards the east. However, a series of direct actions in the last couple months along the pipeline’s route in Ontario and Quebec might be causing this oil transportation company some problems.
CKUT’s Aaron Lakoff was reporting live on the scene when the blockade occurred, and spoke with a spokesperson Alyssa Symons-Bélanger about the group’s motivations on the Tuesday Morning After Show.
Thursday morning members of the 6 Nations community and their allies interrupted work at a Line 9 construction site to protest the building of the environmentally detrimental pipeline. After a standoff, the Enbridge workers were forced to back down and removed their equipment. Aaron and Adina spoke with 6 Nations activist Danielle Boisson about the action.
On Friday, April 25th, Off the Hour was joined in studio and by phone by a panel of guests who talked about climate change, the tar sands, and pipelines. Tuesday, April 22nd marked Earth Day, and in May, dozens of citizens and community groups will be embarking on a 700 kilometer walk across Quebec to denounce oil and gas pipelines. The action is called the People’s March for Mother Earth, and will begin May 10th in Cacouna, in the lower St-Laurent region, make its way through dozens of communities including Montreal, before ending in Kanehsatake’s Mohawk community around June 14th. Along the way they will be sharing and educating communities about the impacts of major proposed pipelines such as Enbridge’s Line 9B, and Transcanada’s Energy East.
This panel featured:
Jesse Kerr – Jesse is one of the organizers for Peoples for Mother Earth, and one of the individuals walking the whole 34 days. Jesse is originally from British Columbia where they were involved in numerous protests and demonstrations for the environment and specifically against Enbridge and the northern gateway pipeline.
Audrey Yank – Audrey is a climate justice organizers with the groups Climate justice Montreal and la Coalition Vigilance Oléoducs.
Patrick Bonin – Patrick is with Greenpeace Quebec, who have been engaging in actions and campaigns against the Alberta Tar sands for several years.
Vanessa Gray, a youth activist from the Aamjiwnaang First Nations reserve near Sarnia, in what is known as Ontario’s “chemical valley”. She is a tireless activist for First Nation’s land defense, and against Enbridge’s Line 9 reversal proposal.
On Wednesday, march 19th, protestors gathered in Montreal at the Viau metro station in order to protest against the approval by the National Energy Board’s decision to approve the reversal plan for Enbridge’s line 9. Not only are the Tar Sands causing extensive and irreversible damage to the environment, the transport of these materials in this old pipeline would highly increase the possibility of pipeline breaks and damaging spills. Native communities and environmental activists are fighting against this project. CKUT’s Amelie Phillipson spoke about it with Amanda Lickers, Vanessa Gray and Shirley Ceravolo, and filed this report.