Activists in Toronto locked themselves to a construction site for Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline, shutting it down for a day. The activists took issue with the total lack of consultation with First Nations communities along the route and Enbridge starting work necessary for the Line 9 reversal before the government has approved the project.
Read more and check out the photos on VICE.com
I biked along the Enbridge Line 9 pipeline in Toronto and took photos of its route. It passes by everything - schools, churches, houses, apartments, hospitals, highways, rivers, reservoirs, and etc. With a 90% chance of rupture, pumping tar sands dilbit through all of these areas is one of the most terrible ideas I can imagine.
Check out some more photos and the write-up on VICE.com
I wrote about Davyn Calfchild, the Indigenous veteran arrested on Remembrance Day for waving the flag of the Iroquois confederacy. Interview and photos by Nicky Young.
Within minutes of arriving at Toronto’s public Remembrance Day ceremony, Davyn Calfchild, an Indigenous veteran who served for five years as a Canadian peacekeeper in former Yugoslavia, was arrested without charge. He had refused to put away the Iroquois Confederacy flag that he brought to the ceremony to represent First Nations veterans, while his friend Gary Wassaykeesic flew a Unity, or Mohawk Warrior, flag. The incident was documented in a video which has now gone viral, and was filmed by Miguel Avila-Velarde, a prominent anti-police brutality activist in Toronto who carried a third of Davyn’s flags—that of the two row wampum. The three were arrested and their flags were confiscated, but no laws were broken and no one was charged. “They weren’t even read their rights. They weren’t asked for ID… They were just taken away and detained until the ceremony was over,” Davyn’s wife Cathy explained.
Read the whole thing on VICE.com
I wrote about Enbridge’s final argument for their indefensible Line 9 pipeline:
In late October, Enbridge delivered its final arguments for the irrefutably unsafe Line 9 pipeline reversal project, seeking permission from the National Energy Board of Canada to pump more than 47 million litres per day of diluted tar sands bitumen through its 38 year-old pipeline in the most densely populated part of Canada. These final arguments were meant to be delivered in person during hearings in Toronto, but after the hearings ended in chaos with National Energy Board members literally fleeing from opponents of the pipeline, the NEB permitted Enbridge to put forward its final reply in writing.
One would think that, given an extra week to prepare their rebuttal, Enbridge would have written something airtight, while vanquishing the mountain of evidence raised against them at the hearings—or at least trying to convince the public that this proposal isn’t as shitty as everyone says it is. But Enbridge’s 38-page final reply is as weak as their decrepit 38 year-old pipe whose risk of rupture sits at an alarming 90%. In their response, Enbridge downplayed the scale of the project and ignored most testimonies in their entirety.
This lazy reply basically reiterates the company’s opening statement, as if the two weeks of hearings didn’t happen and nothing new was said. Expert claims that Line 9 would burst in operation were coyly ignored as Enbridge repeated: “increasing Line 9’s capacity would result in an increased assessed risk for 2.2% of [the pipeline].” The company also grossly understated the potential impact of any accident or spill, arguing that the worst case scenario is a rupture occurring when the pipeline is at full capacity—which, according to Enbridge, would only last for a maximum of 13 minutes. Considering that Enbridge’s similar Line 6B in Marshall, Michigan ruptured for 17 hours before the company managed to shut down the line, and that Enbridge still uses the exact same technology in Line 9 to detect leaks, this 13 minute estimate is wishful thinking at best.
But what Enbridge has left unsaid is a lot more incriminating than what they actually talk about in their response.
Read the whole story on VICE.com.
It was a crazy and inspiring few days at the National Energy Board hearings for Enbridge Line 9. After a few quiet days of watching our human rights being politely trampled on in what felt like a show trial, it was cathartic to see Idle No More and Elsipogtog blockade supporters burst into the hearings and shut them down. I wrote an article with photos and video covering the week and how it unfolded, including snippets of the amazing speech given by Amanda Lickers of Rising Tide Toronto.
I wrote an article about how the Enbridge Line 9 pipeline could destroy Ontario and Quebec, and compared it all to a Simpsons episode because that’s how serious an issue this is.
In a classic episode of the Simpsons, a travelling salesman named Lyle Lanley visits a town meeting and convinces the people of Springfield to invest in a monorail—a lavish train system that the town welcomes with a song. But Marge Simpson remains skeptical, so she visits North Haverbrook where a previous Lanley monorail was built: Houses and businesses are abandoned, people are traumatized, and the remains of a derailed train hang precariously off of broken tracks in the town’s centre. A scientist clarifies, “this is all that’s left of one of the crappiest trains ever built.” But Marge is too late to warn Springfield and on the new monorail’s maiden voyage its brakes fail, nearly killing everyone on board. Meanwhile, Lyle Lanley boards a flight out of town with two giant suitcases full of money.
Enbridge’s new proposal for its 37-year-old Line 9 pipeline is a lot like the Springfield monorail. The people of Ontario and Quebec are being sold on a tar sands pipeline that has a “high risk” of rupture in its “early years” of operation. And a rupture of this pipeline, which cuts through the most densely populated part of Canada and crosses twelve major watersheds, could result in an unprecedented catastrophe. Never before has a pipeline carrying diluted tar sands bitumen (dilbit) passed through, or ruptured in, a major urban centre.
Like the desolate town Marge visits, we should pay close attention to other communities with pipelines like Line 9. In Kalamazoo, Michigan an almost identical Enbridge pipeline (Line 6B) ruptured leaking 3.3 million litres of dilbit, poisoning that community and leading to the most expensive on-land oil clean up in US history. Like the Monorail itself, where Lanley cut corners on everything, Line 9 is already in crummy shape—a report submitted to the National Energy Board by pipeline safety expert Richard Kuprewicz found that “both Line 9A and 9B segments have extensive crack threat sites … similar to those observed in Line 6B [of Kalamazoo] across that system.” And just as Lyle Lanley is the only financial benefactor of the monorail, Line 9 benefits oil producers from Alberta, Enbridge, and, to some extent, refineries in Quebec—while the health and safety of millions of Canadians is put at risk. Yet unlike the residents of fictional Springfield, we, the people of Ontario and Quebec, have been shut out of our own town hall.
Read the whole thing on Vice.com