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Fight Against Enbridge Line 9 Pipeline Not Over, Despite NEB Final Approval

First Nations case going to Supreme Court, a Nov 23 protest calls out the NEB process and Trudeau, more actions coming

by David Gray-Donald

Banners in front of Trudeau's Montreal office, November 23. EN translations: [left banner] Justin Trudeau, reform the National Energy Board, reject Line 9. [right banner] No consultation, No Line 9. (Photo credit: Daphne Ben David)
Banners in front of Trudeau's Montreal office, November 23. EN translations: [left banner] Justin Trudeau, reform the National Energy Board, reject Line 9. [right banner] No consultation, No Line 9. (Photo credit: Daphne Ben David)
View of banners morning of November 23 in front of Trudeau'sriding office (Papineau) in Montreal. (Photo credit: Daphne Ben David)
View of banners morning of November 23 in front of Trudeau'sriding office (Papineau) in Montreal. (Photo credit: Daphne Ben David)

The fight against the Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline is not over. A Supreme Court challenge from a First Nation is being launched, a small demonstration was held this morning in front of Justin Trudeau's Montreal office, and more protest actions planned in coming weeks.

In a blow to those opposing the project, the National Energy Board (NEB) gave final approval for the project this fall and Enbridge plans to start pumping oil through the pipeline before year end

But delays have occurred after final approval was given before, like this summer for hydrostatic testing to examine the strength of the 40-year old line. Those tests came after many municipalities, pushed by their residents, voiced concerns with the project very publicly. 

Citizens and groups are trying to pressure Justin Trudeau's newly elected Liberal majority government to re-examine the project.

Jen Gobby, a protester outside Trudeau's office today, November 23, brought up concerns with the NEB process for approving projects like Line 9. "A suitable process would include wider and more thorough consultation with communities along the pipeline, demand rigorous safety standards for infrastructure including hydrostatic testing, and consider the impacts of climate change as a result of tar sands expansion." Greenhouse gas implications of projects are not currently factored into the NEB process, the one that Line 9 went through.

The group held banners and gave out flyers taking aim at the NEB process, which has been criticized for being rigged in favour of the oil industry. Trudeau, during the election campaign, promised to reform the process. But last week it was indicated that ongoing projects, like Line 9, would not be evaluated retroactively under a new framework
 
Chippewa of the Thames First Nation is taking their case to the Supreme Court of Canada, alleging they weren't consulted as per the Canadian Constitution and treaty obligations. They lost their Federal Court of Appeal case this year by a decision of two judges to one.
 
More actions are planned and in the works along the Ontario and Quebec sections of the pipeline.
 
Line 9 is operated by Enbridge and could carry up to 300 000 barrels of oil west to east, from Sarnia to Montreal. It would carry tar sands bitumen and lighter Bakken crude. Some of these products could be processed in Montreal, notably at the Suncor refinery in the city's east end. Some of the transported fossil fuels will be shipped out of the country for export. Along with other proposed pipelines, Line 9 is considered essential infrastructure for those seeking to increase extraction from the tar sands.

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Topics: Environment

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David Gray-Donald (David Gray-Donald)
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