Local coalition rallies to demand Grand River Conservation Authority Board take action against Enbridge Line 9 tar sands pipeline project


Press Release  - September 27, 2013 Contact: Adam Lewis - Phone: 226-476-1038


WHAT: Rally and delegation to GRCA opposing Enbridge's Line 9 reversal

WHEN: Friday, September 27, 8:30 a.m

WHERE: Grand River Conservation Authority Head Office, 400 Clyde Rd., Cambridge


Cambridge, ON (Sept. 27, 2013) -- This morning, the Waterloo Region Coalition Against Line 9 is rallying at the GRCA head office during the Board of Directors meeting, joined by community members from throughout the Grand River watershed. The Coalition will present their declaration against Enbridge’s plans to pump tar sands bitumen through the Waterloo Region and Grand River watershed via the Line 9 pipeline. The declaration is now signed by over 25 local community, environmental, and public interest organizations, small businesses, and over 550 individuals, but is not yet supported by the GRCA.


“Transporting diluted bitumen through the Region threatens our drinking water and ecosystems,” says Coalition spokesperson Adam Lewis. “The GRCA is responsible for protecting our watershed, and must step up to the plate to fulfill its mandate and keep tar sands bitumen out of our region. We can’t afford a disaster like the spill in Michigan in 2010.”


The 2010 rupture of Enbridge pipeline Line 6B spilled more than 3 million litres of diluted tar sands bitumen into the Kalamazoo river and is the largest inland oil spill in American history, with cleanup costs of over $1 billion USD. Lewis continues, “Enbridge is still cleaning up this mess that made many people sick and killed many animals and plants. Line 9’s design is just as old and flawed as Line 6B. The question isn’t whether or not Line 9 will spill, but when.”


The Coalition continues to challenge the expansion of Canada’s tar sands industry and raise awareness about the risks it will pose locally if the second stage of the Line 9 proposal is approved, along with the shipping of bitumen through the line. The 38-year-old pipeline runs through dozens of communities, including Waterloo Region and 17 First Nations, on Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory (Ontario and Quebec), and crosses both the Grand and Nith Rivers.


Enbridge and the Crown must consult with and seek free, prior and informed consent from impacted Indigenous communities regarding the Line 9 project. Waterloo Region occupies part of the Haldimand Tract, the territory of the Six Nations of the Grand River. The Coalition calls for the Region and local communities to honour the Haldimand, Fort Albany, and Two Row Treaties, in addition to federal and international laws.


In October, the National Energy Board (NEB) will be holding hearings about the controversial pipeline proposal. Members of the Coalition will be intervening at these hearings to outline their opposition to Line 9. Concerns cited by the Coalition include Enbridge's abysmal safety record - with over 800 spills in the past decade and widespread failure to comply with safety requirements - and the particularly severe environmental risk posed by diluted bitumen in comparison to regular crude oil.


Other communities along the pipeline route have voiced opposition to Enbridge’s proposal, including in Aamjiwnaang/Sarnia, Six Nations, Hamilton, Guelph, Toronto, Kingston, Kahnawake, and Montreal.  These communities, along with the Waterloo Coalition, will converge in Toronto to demonstrate their resistance to the Line 9 reversal on October 19th, the last day of the NEB hearings.


Fri, 09/27/2013 - 04:30

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