Toronto Organizers Confront Pipeline Giant Over Tar Sands Projects
by Maryam Adrangi and Cameron Fenton
TORONTO – At 8:00 this morning organizers with Environmental Justice Toronto unfurled a banner at Enbridge Day – a forum for investors at First Canadian Place – stating “Enbridge Invests in Oil Addiction: Community Resistance is the Cure”
“When it comes to the tar sands, Enbridge is Canada’s pusher, pumping dirty oil through unreliable pipelines which are bound to spill,” said Taylor Flook, an organizer with Environmental Justice Toronto. “With over 600 leaks and breaks over the past decade, investing in Enbridge pipelines is too risky.”
Enbridge is asking investors to support the expansion of tar sands oil pipelines across North America. These pipelines have a record of spills, accidents and breaks, including one of the largest spills in US history when a pipeline leaked into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan this July.
Enbridge wants to expand its pipelines to send tar sands oil across the continent through projects like the Northern Gateway Pipeline. The pipeline stretches from the Tar Sands in Northern Alberta to Kitimat, B.C., polluting water and food sources and causing causing cancers and disease in local communities. The pipeline has been rejected by communities all along its route including the Carriere Sekani Tribal Council, and now the B.C. Union of Municipalities who voted to oppose the project last week.
“These communities know that a spill is a matter of when, not if” explained Dave Vasey, another member of Environmental Justice Toronto. “Community members have chosen to invest in clean water and a healthy future, not an addiction to dirty oil. Enbridge investors should do the same.”
Hundreds of people are mobilizing across Canada to stop the Gateway and other pipeline projects with demonstrations in Vancouver, Whistler, Kitimat and Sarnia taking place over the past two weeks.
Resistance to the expansion of the Enbridge and other tar sands pipelines is being lead by many First Nations communities and climate justice activists. “Tar sands projects are one of the largest environmental injustices on earth and is Canada’s largest source of global warming pollution,” says Flook. “If Canada wants to uphold human rights and be a leader at the international stage, projects such as Enbridge pipelines cannot go through.”
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