Enbridge Line 9 lockdown shuts down construction in Toronto
Five protesters have locked themselves to construction equipment in north Toronto to halt work on Enbridge Inc.’s Line 9 oil pipeline.
“Right now the Line 9 reversal construction is stopped,” said Amanda Lickers, a member of Six Nations of Grand River, on Tuesday afternoon. The energy company, however, says the pipeline work is completely unrelated to its proposal to reverse the flow of oil, a plan which has not yet been approved.
“We are replacing the pipeline and doing a horizontal drill under the Don River to replace it with a brand-new steel pipe,” said Graham White, a spokesperson for Enbridge.
White said the replacement work, which started this summer, had federal approval and would be carried out regardless of the Line 9B reversal decision.
About 20 protesters are at the site, near Pineway Blvd. north of Finch Ave. Lickers said the protestors are negotiating with police, and would remain locked to the machinery “as long as possible.”
For the Star’s full coverage of Line 9B, click here.
Enbridge is seeking approval from Canada’s National Energy Board to increase the capacity of Line 9B from 240,000 barrels a day to 300,000 barrels and to reverse the flow of the 639-kilometre section of pipeline from westbound to eastbound.
The energy board already approved the reversal of Line 9A, the segment of pipeline that runs from Sarnia to North Westover, Ont.
If the application for Line 9B — from North Westover to Montreal — is approved, the pipeline will carry crude from Western Canada to Quebec’s refineries.
By early next year, the federal energy board will decide whether to approve the Line 9B project and what, if any, conditions to impose.
With files from Jessica McDiarmid
Environmental justice activists successfully shut down Line 9 construction site in Toronto #LockDownLine9
At 6am this morning, members of Rising Tide Toronto successfully shut down construction for Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline in North Toronto. Five people, including two priests, locked down to equipment to prevent further work on this project. Approximately 40 workers were sent home for the day and activists continue to occupy the construction site.
“The National Energy Board has not approved the reversal of the Enbridge Line 9 pipeline. Amidst outstanding land claims and treaty violations all along the route, there has been no consultation with First Nations. This pipeline must be decommissioned and construction towards this project must stop.” – Amanda Lickers, Member of Six Nations of Grand River
“We are taking a stand today because this project will facilitate the expansion of the tar sands. Moreover, this reversal puts the millions of people along line 9 route at risk.” – Meghan Mills, Rising Tide Toronto
“The health of Aamjiwnaang is suffering from the effects from Canada’s Chemical Valley as a result of Environmental Racism. We need to act now in defence of the land we depend on before Enbridge permanently destroys our territories. This is a human rights issue that effects future generations of all peoples.” – Vanessa Gray, Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines
Line 9 Facts:
Every First Nations band council that intervened in the NEB process said that they had not been consulted in accordance to the Canadian consultation.
NEB has not yet approved the Line 9 reversal. If the NEB recognizes the Canadian constitution, they are obligated to not approve this proposal.
Enbridge said it will idle Line 9 if its application to reverse and expand the pipeline is rejected by the National Energy Board.
Enbridge’s Line 9B is the first pipeline proposal to come under the authority of the new rules hidden in Harper’s omnibus budget Bill C-38 passed in July 2012.
Enbridge refuses to carry $1 billion in insurance to cover the costs of a possible spill, arguing that it is unnecessary. Meanwhile, clean up for Enbridge’s Kalamazoo disaster has cost over $1 billion in an area with a population of 7,000.
By Enbridge’s own admission, their computation pipeline monitoring system “will not detect a leak below 70.5 [cubic metres], 443 [barrels] over a two-hour period”.
Richard Kuprewicz, a pipeline safety expert with over forty years of experience in the energy sector, says the probability of Line 9 rupturing is “over 90%.”