Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding Line 9
Climate Change and the Line 9B Reversal Project
Date Written: 07/12/2015
Year Published: 2015
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX18446
A letter from community organizations in southern Ontario and Quebec, impacted Indigenous communities, and national organizations that would like to express adamant opposition to the recent 'Leave to Open' status granted to the Enbridge Line 9B reversal project by the National Energy Board (NEB) of Canada.
We are writing on behalf of community organizations in southern Ontario and Quebec, impacted Indigenous communities, and national organizations that would like to express adamant opposition to the recent Leave to Open status granted to the Enbridge Line 9B reversal project by the National Energy Board (NEB) of Canada. That the Line 9 project (Line 9A & 9B) was ultimately approved by the NEB is an unacceptable outcome of an NEB review process that was deeply flawed and undemocratic.
Line 9 poses significant risks to the health and wellbeing of millions of Canadians. Given your renewed commitments to protecting the environment including the mitigation of runaway climate change as well as your commitments to respecting Indigenous rights, we are calling upon the federal government to restructure the NEB review process. We urge the federal government to halt the Line 9 project until it can be subjected to a subsequent review under more robust, transparent, and democratic conditions.
The new proposed contents of Line 9 include diluted bitumen from the tar sands, a much heavier and more toxic substance than the conventional oil it was built to carry, as well as potentially explosive fracked Bakken Shale oil. A pipeline safety expert, with 40 years of experience in the energy sector, has testified that there is a 90% likelihood of a significant Line 9 spill within the first five years of operation. Not only are the local consequences along the pipeline route of great concern, but so are the upstream consequences around the tar sands megaproject. In Alberta, First Nations communities are being displaced and poisoned by tar sands operations, and are experiencing deleterious health impacts as a result.
The approval of the Line 9B pipeline and the current Leave to Open status, were decisions imposed on residents of Canada by a non-elected regulator composed of biased corporate actors prioritizing industry goals and objectives. You have advised that it is important that [the federal government] acknowledge mistakes when we make them. It is our strongly-held conviction that the prior governments support for the NEB structure and review process has resulted in an erroneous decision that threatens communities, water sources, local ecosystems, and the planet.
We therefore call on the federal government to restructure the NEB to implement a robust, transparent, and democratic review process with priority given to the following provisions:
* upstream and downstream impacts;
* contribution to catastrophic climate change; and
* respect of Indigenous Treaty Rights.