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The Chippewas of the Thames win leave to appeal NEB decision on Line 9

Photo: Chief Joe Miskokomon

The London Community News reports, “The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation has been granted leave to appeal the National Energy Board (NEB) decision regarding Enbridge’s Line 9B pipeline. …The approval of the appeal is a victory for the Chippewa who are receiving support from other First Nations and environmental groups in the Toronto-area as they navigate the appeals process.”

“In April, Chippewas of the Thames filed a notice of application with the Federal Court of Appeal to appeal the decision regarding the Line 9B. …The federal Crown provided no consultation on the proposed project despite the Chippewas’ asserting their Aboriginal and Treaty rights would be impacted. The Line 9B pipeline crosses the Thames River, the same river that runs through the Chippewas traditional territory and provides a source of drinking water to the First Nation.”

Chippewas of the Thames Chief Joe Miskokomon says, “We do not agree with the NEB’s decision enabling Enbridge to reverse the flow of Line 9B. While the NEB can give certain approvals, it does not give Enbridge the social license to operate. Now we are in the position of having to argue about this pipeline in the Federal Court of Appeal on the issue of aboriginal consultation. Regardless of the outcome of our appeal, we need to raise awareness about the environmental concerns and scientific uncertainty with a pipeline dating back to the 1970’s that will have new stresses that will be placed on it.”

The article adds, “In the coming weeks, Chippewas of the Thames will be launching a campaign to support its appeal, which calls on various industries and governments to seek a new way of doing business that draws upon First Nations values and honours the original treaty relationship.”

Council of Canadians chapters in Ontario and Quebec have been actively opposing Line 9 and extend their solidarity to the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.