On Tuesday morning, activists halted work on a section of Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline in southern Ontario asserting that it poses a risk to people, animals, land and water.
The group of protesters gathered at the site on Oxford County Road 5 in Innerkip, Ontario. In a statement to the public, activists noted that the blockade intends to stop construction on the site indefinitely.
Enbridge plans to reverse the flow of oil and increase the capacity of the pipeline by 25 per cent. On Tueday, protesters aimed to prevent the installation of a valve that is being installed near the Thames River.
Activists argue that the river is not properly protected from the risk of spill. “Once a river is poisoned, it cannot be undone. We need to act before it is too late,” according to the statement.
“This construction project is a band-aid attempt and Line 9 is too old and damaged to operate safely. The new valves aren’t designed to protect rivers, they’re designed to maximise the amount of bitumen that can flow through the line,” says activist Sarah Scanlon in a statement to the public.
Enbridge confirmed the work interruption and said their workers were moved to another project for the day.
According to the most recent press release, Enbridge has now threatened to have the protestors removed at 6:00 p.m., but the group has decided to stay.
Miriam Katawazi is a fourth-year journalism and human rights student at Carleton University and rabble’s news intern. She has a strong passion for human rights and social justice in Canada and across the world. Her writing focuses on health, labour, education and human rights beats.
Photo: Dam Line 9 facebook group