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EWB Member Learning Session: Enbridge Pipeline

  • University of Waterloo 200 University Ave W E5 2004 Waterloo, ON (map)

Location: E5 2004

Enbridge’s Line 9 is a pipeline currently being challenged in the Supreme Court of Canada by Chippewas of the Thames First Nation (COTTFN).

#Enbridge has made 3 changes to #Line9, which runs from #Sarnia to #Montreal:
1. Switched the contents from conventional oil to tar sands crude (aka diluted bitumen), which it was not designed to carry, as well as highly flammable bakken crude
2. Reversed the flow of the pipeline
3. Increased the capacity of the pipeline from 250,000 barrels per day (BPD) to 300,000 BPD

None of the 18 First Nations whose reserves are impacted by this pipeline were consulted on the changes to Line 9. This is in violation of Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution. COTTFN has undertaken a Supreme Court Constitutional Challenge based on this lack of consultation.

Line 9 has exhausted its intended lifespan of 40 years, has had 35 reported significant spills in its history, and is known to be structurally unsound- Enbridge refused to do an industry standard hydrotest of the entire pipeline for fear that water would hurt the pipeline. Tar sands crude is heavier and thicker than peanut butter, heavily corrosive and toxic. Tar sands crude also sinks when it hits water, instead of floating like conventional oil, making clean-up impossible. 

Enbridge knows that clean-up is impossible. They switched the twin pipe to Line 9, Line 6B, from conventional oil, which it was designed to carry, to tar sands crude, as has now been done with Line 9. In 2010, #Line6Bruptured 3,000,000 Litres into the #Kalamazoo River, the largest inland spill in North American history. Enbridge was found to have prior knowledge of multiple cracks along the pipe. Enbridge spent $1B+ on “clean-up”; in reality the company was not able to remove the tar from the bottom of the riverbed and covered it with sand. 

Come learn about the history of the fight against Line 9, what remains to be done, and about the historic Supreme Court challenge by Chippewas of the Thames First Nation!

Moderator: Rachel Thevenard
A person of European descent living on stolen land, currently residing on the territory of the Anishanaabe, Haudenosaunee and Neutral peoples. In 2015 I ran 837 km along the length of Line 9 in protest of the lack of consultation with First Nations and to raise money for Chippewas of the Thames First Nation’s legal challenge. Since then, I have continued raising awareness and fundraising for the legal challenge through Chippewas Solidarity, an allied fundraising group to COTTFN.