Vol. 21 No. 8 • February 26 - March 4, 2015 In Our 20th Year Serving Greater Hamilton

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Line 9 Battle Not Over

by Don McLean
July 24 - 30, 2014
A Line 9 worksite occupation last week is only the latest challenge to Enbridge’s plans to expand the flow in its Sarnia to Montreal pipeline and begin shipping diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands. There was a similar action earlier in Etobicoke, and the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation has won the right to appeal the March National Energy Board decision that had seemed to clear the way for the controversial project.

    And in a further blow to Enbridge’s potential bitumen export plans through an ocean port in Maine, massive public intervention has convinced the South Portland city council to block tar sands passage through that city. On July 9, the council voted 6–1 to “prohibit loading crude oil, including tar sands, in bulk onto marine tank vessels and would block construction or expansion of terminals and other facilities for that purpose” at a meeting attended by nearly 500 people.

    On July 17 individuals from Six Nations and others occupied an Enbridge Line 9 worksite near Cambridge located on Haudenosaunee territory guaranteed under the Haldimand deed.

    “This isn’t just about line 9 – or Northern Gateway, Energy East or Keystone XL. This is about pipelines – all of them.” Danielle Boissineau of Turtle Clan stated in a media release. “This is about the tar sands and how destructive they are to expand, extract and transport.”

    The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation appeal is based on the failure of the federal government to consult with the First Nation, something the Chippewas argue is being done with some western Canada pipelines. They note that Line 9 crosses the Thames River running through the Chippewas traditional territory and providing a source of drinking water.

    “We know that there is a lot of public debate about oil pipelines because we are beginning to see that the old ways of doing business are no longer acceptable because of issues like global climate change and species extinction,” said Chief Miskokomon. “Our elders have taught us that when we don’t respect Mother Earth our actions will come back to us”.

    The director of lands and environment for the First Nation said aboriginal people in Ontario also have concerns about the Energy East pipeline proposed by Trans Canada. That project runs from Alberta to New Brunswick, partly via an existing natural gas pipe and partly requiring new construction. Like other attempts to ship bitumen to an ocean port, it is facing extensive opposition and controversy.

    In an echo of Enbridge’s actions in Hamilton and elsewhere along Line 9, it has been revealed that Trans Canada has given $30,000 to one of the Ontario towns in the path of its pipeline in return for a promise that the town will not comment on Energy East. Enbridge handed out monies along Line 9 to municipal governments and police forces including nearly $45,000 to the Hamilton police department.

    The grant to Mattawa came with a written agreement that stated “the Town of Mattawa will not publicly comment on TransCanada’s operations or business projects.” The Toronto Star exposed the gag clause in early July, and after Avaaz gathered 30,000 signatures against it, the town council removed the clause earlier this week.

    It has never been revealed if there were conditions attached to the Hamilton grants from Enbridge, but the Hamilton 350 Committee is continuing to seek provincial intervention to block the police from accepting such corporate donations.

    The limits on public involvement and the restricted list of issues that were imposed by the NEB on the Line 9 case are also being appealed by Forest Ethics. V
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Comments (4)
The Hamilton Police service is taking its important responsibility to citizens seriously by supporting and enhancing their services with the type of fundraising activities expected of any public organization.
Posted by Graham White on July 24, 2014 at 7:20pm | Report this comment
It is not our intent, nor is there any obligation for these organizations implicit or otherwise, to show any favouritism whatsoever to the company, its projects, operations employees or contractors as a result of these donations. We live and work here too. We want the community to be safe and to benefit from our involvement in their lives. The Hamilton Police service is taking its important responsibility to citizens seriously by supporting and enhancing their services with the type of fundraisi
Posted by Graham White on July 24, 2014 at 7:20pm | Report this comment
Community groups and emergency responders apply for the grants themselves which have been used for a variety of enhancements - everything from purchasing gas detection equipment to upgrading fire halls to setting up communications systems or acquiring laptop computers for use in emergency response planning.
Posted by Graham White on July 24, 2014 at 7:19pm | Report this comment
With operations and employees across Canada and the United States it's essential for Enbridge to be involved in communities to help make them healthy, vibrant and ultimately, better and safer places to live and work. The safety of the communities in which we operate and the people who live and work along our system remains our highest priority. That's why we're proud to support the organizations that help to keep our communities safe.

Community groups and emergency responders apply for the
Posted by Graham White on July 24, 2014 at 7:16pm | Report this comment
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