Every extractive industry deeply affects the relationship between people on the land and their newly manufactured landscape. The incredibly rapid development of the tar sands in Northern Alberta is having a profound affect on the culture, lifestyle and health of the First Nations. Conversely, communities have gained employment, and access to modern health care and services. Is the stability and preservation of a culture better served through attention to traditional lifestyle or to commerce and industry?
As Enbridge held its investors meeting in First Canadian Place, Environmental Justice Toronto entered the building and released a banner attached to helium balloons that read “Enbridge Invests in Oil Addiction.” The banner was visible through the glass front of the building, where activists held up another banner saying “Community Resistance is the Cure.”
On the outside, activists were chanting and handing out flyers which were made by the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, in British Columbia, who are resisting Enbridge’s proposed $5 billion Gateway pipeline project. The Gateway project would move oil from the tar sands in northern Alberta to Kitimat, BC.
Enbridge has a long history of pipeline spills and other accidents, including a 1 million gallon spill of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, one of the largest spills in US history. According to the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council’s flyer, “the Gateway Pipeline risks damage to 785 watercourses, wildlife habitat and fragile salmon fisheries. The project route also crosses the territories of over 20 First Nations in BC.”
The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and other First Nations communities along the route are proposing “a community-lead process based on the minimum international standard of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent as ratified by the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People in 2007.”
The Environmental Justice Toronto activists were calling on investors to support these reasonable proposals and demand a full disclosure of environmental and legal risks associated with construction of the Enbridge Gateway pipeline.
A video of one of the protesters who was violently inured while being removed from the observation gallery of Parliament Hill over protest the lack of action from the Canadian government on addressing the international issue of climate change. This footage was shot while being detained by the Parliamentary security guards inside of the Parliament building. CBC had reported that the incident was fake and that the blood which appeared on the Jeh Custer was actually added for show during an online interview. cbc.ca/politics/insidepoli...
Take action by calling your local MP and expressing your concern on how a peaceful protest causes harm to Canadian citizens and that there needs to be more ambitious action from Canada on addressing climate change before the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen this December.