COMMUNITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS RESPOND TO NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD DECISION ON LINE 9
For immediate release:
Toronto, March 7, 2014
Toronto Community Groups Against Line 9 Respond to NEB Recommendation: No bitumen in our backyard; in Ontario, not in our Country!
Community groups are sounding the alarm against a dangerous proposal that National Energy Board (NEB) has approved for the region. This afternoon the NEB approved the Line 9 reversal proposal, which would allow Enbridge to use a 39-year old pipe to pump dangerous substances such as dilbit (diluted bitumen) and Bakken crude through the most populous region in Canada. Line 9 runs through 99 towns, 18 First Nations, and crosses every major tributary that flows into Lake Ontario, which is the drinking water source for millions.
Gathering outside Queens Park, these groups are now demanding a full environmental IMPACT assessment from the province.
This demand coincides with the release of a report, “Not Worth the Risk,” which highlights the strongest evidence against the project presented during the NEB hearings. The report found Enbridge’s safety precautions and public consultation process seriously flawed and cited federal government failure to consult First Nations along the route, as required in section 35 of the Canadian Constitution. The report has been endorsed by over 30 community organizations, 13 academics, and has enjoyed wide ranging support from municipal and provincial officials.
“No modelling studies have been conducted to predict the flow of crude through Toronto’s already overburdened sewer system.” States Marilyn Eriksen, a retired public health professional with extensive experience in risk assessment. “The health and safety of people and property would be compromised.”
As a result of undemocratic omnibus federal bills C-38 and C-45, many of the already limited environmental protection regulations in Canada have been gutted. Now, there are few mechanisms left to ensure environmental protection, and little accountability to ensure adherence to these conditions. This infrastructure will allow for the expansion of the tar sands, increasing contamination of the Athabasca River and putting our climate at great risk.
“My community of Aamjiwnaang continues to bear greater health and environmental burdens, while Enbridge receives the bulk of the benefits.” states Vanessa Gray, of Aamjiwnaang First Nation near Sarnia “The tar sands continues to be an act of genocide against Indigenous communities living on the front line.”.
A press conference, comprised of voices from concerned community groups, will be held in the media room atQueen’s Park on Friday, March 7th at 12:30 pm. The report “Not Worth the Risk” will be officially released and a panel will answer questions.http://risingtidetoronto.noblogs.org/files/2014/03/NEB_report_final_web_march6-3.pdf Panel includes:
SARAH HARMER, musician (family farm is crossed by line 9)
VANESSA GRAY, indigenous speaker from Aamjiwnaang (community near Sarnia is directly affected by petrochemical and fossil fuel industries; Line 9 is above ground in this community)
MARILYN ERIKSEN, retired public health professional (lives in Toronto Ward 24 on Line 9)
REV. ANDREA BUDGEY, Anglican priest (lives near Line 9)
Note: Sarah Harmer and Marilyn Eriksen were interveners in the NEB hearings