Where: Toronto Metro Convention Centre (255 Front Street West)
Oil giant Enbridge wants to use Line 9, a 38-year old pipeline to pump toxic tar sands east through Ontario and Quebec. Line 9 passes within 50 km of an estimated 9.1 million people, 18 First Nation communities, and 99 towns and cities, including Toronto.
From October 16 to 19, the National Energy Board (NEB) will be 'listening' to the public and industry on Line 9 in Toronto. Under Harper, the requirement for environmental assessments has been removed and only the NEB is charged with making the 'decision' on Line 9. To date, the NEB has approved over 99.9% of tar sands projects and is seen as an extension of Big Oil. In order to participate in the NEB hearings, citizens were given a 2 week window to fill out a 9 page application, after which the NEB determined who could speak. Many voices were excluded both by the process and selection criteria of the NEB.
Pipeline spills are not a matter of 'if' but 'when'. The devastating spill in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan three years ago resulted in long term health and ecological problems, seventeen deaths, and to date, the spill has still not been properly dealt with because tar sands dilbit has been proven to be nearly impossible to clean up. Several months ago, a suburb in Arkansas was flooded with tar sands, necessitating an evacuation of the area and ruining the community. Aging pipelines simply cannot handle the chemical cocktail mix of tar sands bitumen which has to be transported at a higher temperature and pressure than regular oil.
The approval of Line 9 means an expansion of the Tar Sands which is poisoning Indigenous communities and traditional ways of life at the sites of production as well as refining. The Tar Sands are the fastest growing source of carbon emissions in the country, contributing to global climate change, which has resulted in extreme weather conditions around the world. The Canadian government subsidizes Tar Sands at $1.2 billion a year, funding that could easily be diverted and invested in local economies, green energy, and green jobs.
When our voices are muted by government, the streets become our megaphone. Both the Keystone XL pipeline going south and the Northern Gateway pipeline going west have been severely delayed and potentially blocked by strong coalitions of environmental, First Nation, student, community, and labour activists. Join us October 19th outside the NEB hearings as we say "No Line 9: No Tar Sands in Ontario!".
For more information, please see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tK83lr7doA
[Facebook event posting - http://www.facebook.com/events/231888730295797/]