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Montreal protest supports Chippewas, calls for Line 9 shutdown
In Montreal, protesters called for an end to the 9B pipeline on Dec. 18, walking through snow and sleet from Suncor refinery in Montreal East to Montreal City Hall. The protest marks one year since Enbridge Inc. began transporting its dangerous oil from Alberta to Montreal through Line 9.
16-kilometre march, the protesters expressed their views to those who stood to listen. “Enbridge Line 9B is a threat to our drinking water,” said Louise Morand, a member of Regroupement Vigilance Hydrocarbures Quebec (RVHQ), which is made up of 130 citizens groups across the province....
Farmers need to work with indigenous communities to protect (farm)land
by Wolf Chrapko, a member of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Indigenous Solidarity Working Group
Enbridge Line 9 is a 40-year-old pipeline that runs through thousands of acres of farmland, crossing every major freshwater source flowing into Lake Ontario. More than nine million people live along Line 9, which begins in Aamjiwnaang First Nation/Sarnia and flows to Kanien:keh at Montreal....
Following recusals, NEB names new bilingual Energy East hearing panel
The National Energy Board, Canada's federal energy regulator, has announced a new three-member panel to review the largest pipeline project ever proposed in Canada.
Ontario's Don Ferguson and Carole Malo, along with Marc Paquin from Quebec, were officially tasked on Monday with assessing TransCanada Corp.’s proposed 4,500−kilometre Energy East pipeline — a controversial project that, if built, would ship more than a million barrels of oil per day from Alberta to New Brunswick.
..from another page
What you need to know about the new panelists:
First Nations sue in stand against TransCanada northern pipeline
Two First Nations in northern Ontario have launched a multimillion-dollar court challenge against TransCanada Corp. to stop work on pipelines that pass through their territory.
About 30 kilometres of Calgary-based TransCanada's Line 1 and Line 3 pipelines run through the Aroland and Ginoogaming First Nations, about 350 kilometres northeast of the Ontario city of Thunder Bay. The lawsuit announced Monday aims to expand the pipeline consultation process to include maintenance operations. The First Nations are also asking for up to $60 million in damages.
The First Nations people are not saying yes to this; they’re not saying no, either," Raymond Ferris, a spokesperson for the Aroland First Nation who works on resource development in the community, said in an interview. "They just want to make an informed decision about what’s happening on their land.”...
..from a facebook page
All charges are dropped for these beautiful humans for shutting down Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline on December 2015!
Bad River Band votes to eject Line 5 pipeline from their territory
The Council of Canadians expresses solidarity with the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and their opposition to the Line 5 pipeline.
The pipeline transports up to 540,000 barrels per day of light crude oil, light synthetic crude oil, and natural gas liquids. The pipeline, built in 1953, runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac where Lake Huron and Lake Michigan meet.
A University of Michigan Water Center study released in March 2016 found that 1,160 kilometres of shoreline in the U.S. and Canada are considered potentially vulnerable to a Line 5 spill. The National Wildlife Federation says, "A large oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac could potentially spread across vast areas of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. A far-reaching oil slick that spread into Lake Huron could also affect Georgian Bay, one of the most vibrant freshwater ecosystems on the planet."
The pipeline also bisects the 124,000-acre Bad River Band reservation located on the shore of Lake Superior in Ashland and Iron counties in Wisconsin.
The Globe and Mail now reports, "In Wisconsin, a Chippewa band passed a resolution this week to refuse to renew Enbridge’s permits for its 65-year-old Line 5 to cross rivers in the Bad River Band’s territory. The band wants Enbridge to decommission the aging line – which carries 544,000 barrels a day of Western Canadian crude through Wisconsin and Michigan to Ontario – and could pursue litigation if the company refuses to comply, tribal councillor Dylan Jennings said in an interview. Enbridge was taken off guard by the band’s determination to see the pipeline shut down."....
Activist Action Planning
Date: Feb 4-5 Time: 10 am – 6 pm each dayWhere: North Battleford, Saskatchewan
In light of the two recent oil spills and ongoing focus on resource extraction in Treaty 6 territory, this training will provide important information and support for individuals who are working on land and water protection. This Action Camp will train activists for various levels of organizing in Non-Violent Direct Action and Direct Action Campaigns.
Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion Responds to NEB Decision to Restart Energy East Review
January 27 2017, Turtle Island—The newly named National Energy Board (NEB) panel tasked with reviewing TransCanada’s Energy East tar sands pipeline application has just announced that it had no choice but to restart the review process at square one due to the bias shown by the previous panel, just as many First Nations that are part of the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion - www.treatyalliance.org - had demanded in submissions made to the NEB.
“Kanesatake has said from the beginning that the NEB process is a sham and the NEB decision today confirms that,” said Grand Chief Serge Simon, Mohawk Council of Kanesatake. “But the meeting in question with Jean Charest that led to all of this was just the tip of the iceberg – the NEB is a biased and broken institution that has been rubber stamping tar sands pipelines for years.”
As we learned this week, United States President Trump is trying to pressure federal agencies, through the issuance of executive memos, to rush through the reviews of two other pipelines that the Treaty Alliance is fighting: the fracked oil Dakota Access Pipeline that Enbridge is still seeking to purchase 27% of, and TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. But on the Canadian side, we have had our own rushed, illegitimate pipeline review process for years which led to the approvals of the Canadian portions of the Keystone XL project and Enbridge Line 3 replacement project, as well as the approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion project.
“The fact that the NEB process leaves absolutely no room for First Nations, nor for any consideration of the extreme threat that we face from climate change, led the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to recently file legal proceedings against the Line 3 project on the basis of our Constitutionally protected rights but also our own laws, namely the Great Binding Law,” said Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.....
Laval becomes first university in Canada to divest from fossil fuels
Sometimes all it takes is three months. That’s how long a student group at Quebec City’s Laval University has been campaigning for their school to divest from fossil fuels. On Wednesday they got yes for an answer, when Laval became the first Canadian university to commit to divest from all fossil fuel holdings.
“Today, Université Laval commits to taking responsible action to switch its endowment fund investments in fossil energy to other types of investments, such as renewable energy,” said Éric Bauce, executive vice rector in charge of sustainable development, in a statement on the university website.
The statement confirmed that Laval is the “first university in Canada to do so” and also announced its ranking as second in the world in sustainable development on the STARS index of universities....
This beer fights pipelines
The beer will be labelled Coule pas chez nous! and will carry the French tagline: “A beer for our rivers.” It will be available on tap in over 20 locations, and 12,000 bottles will be distributed to stores across the province. The session IPA is a limited release, and the beer will be available only for the month of March, making those pretty bottles an instant collector’s item.
Coule pas chez nous! is a coalition of 14 grassroots community groups from all parts of Quebec. It rose to national prominence in 2014 when author and ex-student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois donated his $25,000 Governor-General’s award to the group and invited Quebecers to join him. Within a week, he had raised over $400,000 for the fight against Energy East.
The group is hoping that the novelty of a unique beer will help raise awareness of the threat posed by the Energy East pipeline to the province’s supply of fresh water, pointing out that a pipeline spill would be devastating not only for the agricultural sector, but for sectors of the economy such as brewing, which rely on clean water.
By partnering with the booming microbrewery industry, Coule pas chez nous! is hoping to send a message that many sectors of the economy oppose the pipeline....
Saturday March 11, 2017
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Grass Routes 2017 Launch:
Line 3 101 with Winona Laduke
Guests Joelle Pastora Sala & Allison Fenske, council to the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Bulman Student Centre, University of Winnipeg
Free Admission. Everyone welcome.
Presented by University of Winnipeg Students' Association (UWSA) Organizing Against Kinder Morgran and Line 3, and Fernwood Publishing
First Nation poised to sue Husky Energy for damage caused by spill last summer
The ice has not yet thawed on the North Saskatchewan River, but Chief Wally Burns is sure there's damage below.
Last summer, a Husky Energy pipeline ruptured near Maidstone, Sask. spilling more than 200,000 litres of heavy oil and diluent into its waters. The disaster forced three municipalities to enact emergency water restrictions, and covered the banks of the James Smith Cree Nation with dead crayfish and an oily sheen.
The lasting impact of that contamination may not be visible now, said Burns, but once the snow and ice start to melt, he suspects the damage will be clear: tar-covered logs, lower fish yields, and scant wildlife along a river that once supported all kinds of critters, big and small.
Visible or not, however, the damage has led the central Saskatchewan nation to start negotiating with lawyers. Chief Burns said the community may soon be suing Husky for damages to their cultural and economic resources....
York U committee recommends divestment from weapons and fossil fuels
The York University Advisory Committee on Responsible Investment (YUACRI) has voted to recommend the University's divestment from arms manufacturers and fossil fuels. YUACRI was established in 2012 to integrate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations into investment management processes and ownership practices concerning York's $413 million endowment fund.
Since October 2016, YUACRI has closely examined two major proposals. The first was developed by YU Divest, a broad coalition of York students and alumni, and calls for divestment from five arms manufacturers based on their complicity in human rights abuses around the world. The second was developed by Fossil Free York, part of the growing Fossil Free Canada movement, and calls for divestment from companies involved in the extraction, processing and transport of fossil fuels based on their direct contribution to climate change and the risk that investments in fossil fuels may become "stranded" as the market becomes less viable.
In February and March 2017, YUACRI endorsed both divestment proposals and is now preparing recommendations for the University administration.
"This is truly a historic moment for York," says Richard Wellen, president of the York University Faculty Association (YUFA). "The University is now poised to align its investment practices with its institutional values of sustainability, social justice, equity and good governance. The Board of Governors should implement these recommendations as soon as possible."....
..from the wpg coc chapter
Drill for Heat not Oil
The fossil fuel industry has left behind thousands of abandoned wells in Alberta. The wells have the potential to produce enormous amounts of geothermal energy that is clean, green, and sustainable. Using abandoned oil wells to reach some of Canada’s abundant geothermal energy means producers wouldn’t have to pay for expensive drilling: the wells are already there. They’re a nearly perfect transition tool, a made-to-order piece of the reject, reduce, reuse, recycle puzzle that clean energy advocates are assembling from the wreckage of fossil fuel use.Chapter member and scientist Dennis LeNeveu explains the basics of geothermal energy and how it could work here in Canada.
D.M. LeNeveu - 16 December 2016
Imagine an affordable, inexhaustible electrical power source with an over 90% capacity factor, minimal environmental impact and a tiny surface footprint. This source is geological heat reservoirs, something Canada has in abundance. In 2011, Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) released a Geological Survey of Canada report that looked at geothermal potential in Canada. The report is clear: despite obstacles to developing many of the sources, deep geothermal power is available and would offer a significant benefit for Canada’s transition to clean energy.
Quebec politicians drink beer and slam pipeline
A number of politicians from Canada's capital region sipped a new beer on tap on Wednesday as they lent a hand to a hoppy campaign against a major pipeline project.
The event at a Gatineau microbrewery and restaurant, Les Brasseurs du Temps, across the river from Ottawa, was the final stop of an organized tour against TransCanada Corp's Energy East pipeline. The campaign warns that the oily project would ruin fun for Quebeccers.
Local leaders in attendance, including Chelsea Mayor Caryl Green, and Gatineau city councillors Mike Duggan and Denise Laferrière, agree: They believe the risks of the project are too high.
If built, the Energy East pipeline would transport up to 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day between Alberta and New Brunswick. It would also cross some 3,000 rivers and streams along the way, and the Calgary-based company behind the project has not yet explained how it would safely cross major waterways like the Ottawa and Saint-Lawrence Rivers. Canada's energy regulator, the National Energy Board, is now reviewing the project.
More than 25 Quebec craft brewers have joined the campaign, which was launched in early March by Coule Pas Chez Nous (loosely translated as don't spill at my home), an organized anti-pipeline group. The new beer sampled by politicians, a light and hoppy IPA, will be on tap at Les Brasseurs du Temps and available elsewhere in Quebec until the supply runs out. Some of the proceeds of sales — $1 for every beer — will be going back to Coule Pas Chez Nous.
Five microbreweries in British Columbia have already borrowed from the movement in Quebec to help support opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project. Earlier this month, they donated beer for a weekend charity event in Vancouver that brought in $17,000 to fund lawsuits against the proposed expansion of the 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain pipeline between Alberta and the Vancouver region.
Big business wants to nix climate from regulator's Energy East review
Canada's largest corporations want to stop a federal panel from investigating how a cross-country oil pipeline would contribute to global warming.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and other industry stakeholders raised their objections in a series of letters sent to Canada's pipeline regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), over the past few weeks.
Emissions analysis "completely redundant"
Lawyers wrote that an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions for the proposed 4,500-kilometre Energy East pipeline would be "completely redundant and unnecessary," given that such analysis falls within the purview of the federal government. The details are in the Canadian government's Interim Measures for Pipeline Reviews, they said.
In the letter dated May 17, they further argued that NEB panelists have previously declined to consider upstream emissions in their review of pipeline projects, and the NEB "strives to achieve continuity, consistency and a degree of predictability."
"There has been no change in law or government policy or regulatory policy that would justify departing from the previously stated (and judicially endorsed) approach to dealing with upstream and downstream GHG emissions," the lawyers wrote.
The letter was provided to the NEB in English only, and the NEB has confirmed that it has no plans to translate the letter into French. In the past, TransCanada has failed to provide timely French versions of its official documents on the project — a delay that many concerned Quebec residents have amounted to discrimination.....
An independent hydrogeologist says he is "not at all surprised" by reports of oil slicks on the North Saskatchewan River almost a year after a Husky pipeline spill
Spilled oil becomes embedded in soil and sediment, and can contaminate water for years after a spill, said Ricardo Segovia, who works with the U.S. non-profit E-Tech International. He spent several weeks last summer studying the spill on its behalf.
“The recovery rates given were very, very optimistic, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that they’re finding oil now,” Segovia said of the Calgary-based company’s claim that only about 15,000 litres of the spilled oil remain unaccounted for.
Members of Red Pheasant Cree Nation are concerned that some of the missing crude collected in the shallows near North Battleford, about 100 kilometres from the spill site near Maidstone. One band councillor called the discovery “disappointing.”
“They told us it was cleaned up (but) we knew it was there,” Henry Boss Gardipy said, adding that the slicks are intermittently visible — appearing when the river is low and vanishing when it rises.
“Like any industry, they’ll tell us what we want to hear,” he added.
Segovia reiterated his view that Husky’s initial response to the spill was inadequate — the company detected pressure anomalies on July 20 but did not shut down the pipeline until the next morning — and said the effects could last for years.
“This can affect people’s lives,” he said. “This can cause spikes in cancer later on, so you are talking about life and death. It should have been talked about that way, and more pressure should have been put on the company to aggressively clean this up.”.....
Little wooden cards to map impact of potential Energy East oil spill
Cards deployed in three provinces
Data from the simulation will be used to produce a report on Energy East's likely spill trajectory, and compiled with data from sister simulations already underway in northwestern Ontario, other waterways in the Ottawa River watershed and the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, where Energy East aims to transport oil by tanker.
Some wooden cards from those simulations have already been picked up, either on land or caught in shoreline vegetation, said Environmental Defence's national program manager, Dale Marshall.
A growing list of adversaries
Energy East, proposed by the Calgary-based TransCanada Corp., is the largest pipeline proposal in North American history. If built, it would cross some 3,000 lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers, as it carries up to 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Saskatchewan and North Dakota to refineries and marine ports in Quebec and New Brunswick.
Opponents argue the pipeline would put the drinking water of millions at risk, violate Indigenous sovereignty and push climate targets out of reach. Supporters say it will create thousands of jobs and get Canadian resources to tidewater safely under stringent regulatory frameworks.
The pipeline's list of adversaries grew this month, as La Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM) announced its opposition, based on TransCanada's failure to meet a list of its demands, and a lack of confidence in the National Energy Board's ability to assess the project thoroughly and objectively. FQM includes 1,000 urban and county municipalities representing 3.8 million citizens.
Trudeau government expresses confidence in NEB after its report says opposite
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is sidestepping an appeal from Canada’s two largest provinces to halt the work of Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) — a federal regulator that even the government says needs an overhaul to rebuild public trust.
Ottawa proposed on Thursday to reform the Calgary-based NEB in response to criticism, including from federal Liberals when they were in opposition, that it had lost the confidence of Canadians.
In January, the NEB decided to restart the process of evaluation for the Energy East pipeline.
A few months later, in May, a panel of experts appointed by the Trudeau government recommended dismantling the NEB to establish a “modern Canadian Energy Transmission Commission” that would “radically increase the scale and scope of its stakeholder engagement to build trust and driver better outcomes for all Canadians.” The panel said this was in response to the “crisis of confidence” it had observed following public consultations across the country.
“We heard that Canadians have serious concerns that the NEB has been ‘captured’ by the oil and gas industry, with many Board members who come from the industry that the NEB regulates, and who — at the very least appear to — have an innate bias toward that industry,” noted the panel in its final report.
Supreme Court quashes seismic testing in Nunavut, but gives green light to Enbridge pipeline
"Justice has prevailed," Nader Hasan, Clyde River's lawyer, said. "The NEB process is broken, the NEB never met a pipeline project or an oil project it didn't like, and that's reflected in decades of jurisprudence. Clyde River was successful, but what about the next Clyde River? That community might not have the ability to take their case to the courts."
The court rescinded the NEB's 2014 decision to grant a five-year permit to the companies to conduct seismic testing or "blasting," which sends sound waves to see if there are reserves under the sea floor.
In a similar decision released Wednesday, the top court ruled unanimously that Enbridge could proceed with its reversal of the Line 9 pipeline in southwestern Ontario, arguing the Chippewas of the Thames were given enough say ahead of the project's construction.
The court sent a shot across the bow in its ruling, warning the NEB and energy project proponents that "any decision affecting Aboriginal or treaty rights made on the basis of inadequate consultation will not be in compliance with the duty to consult."
But the ruling said consultations are a two-way street and Indigenous Peoples alone should not be given the final say on whether a project should proceed. Aboriginal rights must be balanced against "competing societal interests," the court said.
Six glaring issues with the Supreme Court Line 9 decision
Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada announced its decision regarding Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline. The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, located near London, ON, had argued that due process had not been followed in the government approving significant changes to the existing pipeline. The Supreme Court ruled against the Chippewas’ of the Thames, and in favour of the National Energy Board and, in effect, Enbridge.
From a close reading of the Supreme Court decision, many glaring issues become apparent. Six of them are summarized here....
Where did all the data go?
One year after a pipeline spill contaminated the North Saskatchewan River and cut off drinking water supplies for tens of thousands, the company at the heart of the catastrophe says it never wants this to happen again.
But as Husky Energy attempts to turn the page on the disaster, those attempting to look back at what went wrong may actually find that some pages were deleted....
An oil-covered Canada goose is treated at the Living Sky wildlife rehabilitation centre in Saskatoon, Sask. after Husky Energy's catastrophic pipeline spill in July 2016. Photo courtesy of Living Sky on Facebook
An 'urgent' update for the PM
Husky Energy's oil spill had such an impact, Trudeau's office requested “talking points” on the subject ahead of his official visit to China in September 2016, where he met Li Ka-shing. Li, 89, is a Hong Kong billionaire who controls more than two thirds of the shares at Husky Energy, The Globe and Mail reported last year.
As a result, the Husky oil spill made it into Trudeau’s briefing package for the trip, released to National Observer through access to information legislation. The prime minister's notes list Li's extensive credentials, noting that the business executive "has been engaged in commercial developments in Hong Kong for more than 60 years."
Internal email correspondence between two federal departments — Global Affairs Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada — also reveal that officials deliberated what to tell Trudeau about the federal government and Husky Energy's recent interactions with the James Smith Cree Nation. James Smith is an Indigenous community more than 350 kilometres downstream from the spill, whose shores had been littered with dead crayfish, insects and oily sheen after the pipeline buckled.
“Husky has apologized for the oil spill publicly and would like to work with FN on the clean-up. The point to note is to determine whether there are impacts on the James Smith Cree Nation due to the oil spill,” reads an email from Environment Canada to Paul Bears of Global Affairs Canada on Aug. 29, 2016.
Government gives OK, but companies must actually build pipelines: minister
Carr said the government has now provided certainty to the review process.
"We've given the NEB the resources it needs. We have appointed new commissioners. They're in their midst now, we'll wait until they make their recommendations. That's restoring confidence among Canadians that the process is working."
He denied that the government's requirement to balance the economics of oil and gas development with environmental protections and indigenous consultation was grinding things to a halt.
He listed five projects the Liberal government approved or has supported since taking office, including the Pacific Northwest Liquefied Natural Gas pipeline and terminal in B.C., Kinder Morgan's TransMountain pipeline expansion between Alberta and B.C., Enbridge's Line 3 replacement, expanding TransCanada's Nova Gas Transmission gathering system in Alberta and the Keystone pipeline proposal awaiting approval in the U.S.
He said the government believes all of them are "good for Canada."
"We believe we made those decisions in the balance of interests for Canada," he said. "We stand by those decisions. It's now up to the proponents to determine the timing of construction and eventually what will flow through the infrastructure."
However three of the five projects he listed have either fallen apart or face significant hurdles.
Leaky pipeline near Montreal still moving oil despite warnings from regulator
Sylvie Rozon and Guy Coderre had just finished preparing a report on the threat of oil contamination in the Montreal region's drinking water when they decided to investigate a potential risk. It turned out to be serious.
Rozon and Coderre are teachers at a training school for water treatment infrastructure workers, and they had submitted their report to the Bureau d'audience publiques sur l'Environnement (BAPE), a government organization that conducts public hearings to investigate the impacts of industrial projects.
They went to visit land owned by Rozon's parents to look into how pipeline companies were taking care of their infrastructure....