Canada: Activists Shut Down Enbridge Line 9 Pipeline for 10 Hours


Concerned activists blocked the valve of a section of the Line 9B pipeline at the border of Ontario and Quebec in order to stop the reversal of the Enbridge pipeline that has recently begun in order to bring crude oil from western Canada to Montreal.

The authorization of this pipeline, contrary to popular opposition against tar sands and promises from the new federal government to replace the evaluation process for pipeline projects, is unacceptable.

The Enbridge Line 9 project puts the health of millions of people in Quebec and Ontario at risk by threatening the drinking water of numerous communities. This 40-year-old pipeline crosses multiple rivers and major watercourses in both provinces, including Lake Ontario and the Ottawa River.

VIDEO: This is how you shut down a pipeline

This is how you shut down a pipeline. from on Vimeo.

“It is unacceptable that Enbridge can go forward with the Line 9B flow reversal while communities along the route have not received the necessary contingency plans in the event of an emergency,” said Jean Léger, community member from the Lower Laurentians. “Considering the state of the pipeline, and the corrosive nature of bitumen, we know that a spill is inevitable and would impact the drinking water and farmland of millions of people in Ontario and Quebec.”

The current process of the National Energy Board (NEB) has been repeatedly denounced as illegitimate and conducted in an anti-democratic manner. The community of Aamjiwnaang, situated in Sarnia, Ontario at the start of Line 9, is impacted by the worst air quality in the country as a result of the dozens of refineries on their territory. The Chippewyas of the Thames are currently in a legal process at the Supreme Court against the federal government in order to oppose this project that harms their ancestral rights.

“It is unthinkable that we could start shipping this oil to Montreal without the free, prior and informed consent of First Nations,” said Will, an activist on site. “The attitude of the Canadian government and the oil industry regarding this pipeline demonstrates the continued violation of Indigenous lands and rights, as well as the lack of will from the government to seriously engage in reconciliation with First Nations.”

“While the climate conference is taking place in Paris, it is urgent for us to realize that these projects are incompatible with the limits of the planet, and with the larger struggle against climate change,” declared Alyssa Symons-Bélanger, another activist lending her support. “The Enbridge pipeline particularly aggravates climate change by promoting the expansion of tar sands, which increase greenhouse gas emissions generated by this industry that profits from the destruction of the climate.”

Enbridge Inc shut down its 300,000 barrel per day Line 9 crude oil pipeline on Monday after the three protesters locked themselves to equipment at a valve site in Quebec, a company spokesman said. Activists blocked the pipeline for a total of 10 hours. The 3 people who chained themselves to the equipment were arrested.

No Line 9 Press Release
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Erin Gallagher is a multimedia artist, translator and writer for Revolution News.