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Energy East tour moves from Kenora to Thunder Bay

Photo: Eriel Deranger, Adam Scott and Maude Barlow speak against the Energy East pipeline in Kenora. Photo by Alan S. Hale/ Daily Miner and News.
Photo: Eriel Deranger, Adam Scott and Maude Barlow speak against the Energy East pipeline in Kenora. Photo by Alan S. Hale/ Daily Miner and News.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and Eriel Deranger of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation will be speaking against the TransCanada Energy East pipeline in Thunder Bay at 7 pm this evening at the Lakehead Labour Centre, 929 Fort William Road. As noted in the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal, “The Energy East proposal calls for converting the 50-year-old natural gas pipeline to transport 1.1 million barrels of diluted bitumen daily. The pipeline crosses the headwaters of the Current, Mackenzie, Wolf, Black Sturgeon and Nipigon Rivers. A natural gas leak dissipates into the atmosphere — not ideal but far preferable to dilbit draining into Lake Superior.”

Thunder Bay will be the second forum in this six-city tour which began in Kenora on Monday night.

Kenora Online reports, “Residents of Kenora gathered at Knox United to discuss the Energy East pipeline project that would run right through Kenora. The Council of Canadians held the event welcoming four guest speakers including, Adam Scott of Environmental Defence, Teika Newton from Transition Initiative Kenora, Eriel Deranger of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow to highlight some of the risks of the pipeline. The Grassy Narrows Women’s Drumming Group opened the meeting before Newton began the first presentation about the pipeline.”

The Kenora Daily Miner adds, “Barlow described the situation surrounding the pipeline project in stark terms. It would be an environmental disaster waiting to happen, she said, pointing to Enbridge’s 2010 pipeline break into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River as evidence. She said those opposed to the project need to do everything in their power to put a stop to it, even if that means trying to physically prevent its construction.”

Meanwhile, Council of Canadians energy and climate campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue has been at Ontario Energy Board hearings in Stittsville and Cornwall this week. The Globe and Mail reports, “The Liberal government ordered the OEB hearings and will use its report as a basis for its intervention in the National Energy Board review. While the federal government has ultimate authority over pipeline approvals, the provinces can create troublesome political hurdles to a project that will pass through hundreds of municipalities and aboriginal communities.”

The article highlights, “‘The risks of this project clearly outweigh whatever benefits TransCanada claims’, said Andrea Hardin-Donohue, a campaigner for the Council of Canadians, a non-profit advocacy group. She said the pipeline poses risks to the Rideau River and its adjacent Rideau Canal, a UNESCO world heritage site as well as several aquifers that provide drinking water to rural communities. ‘We firmly believe the right decision is to stop the Energy East pipeline’, she said to enthusiastic applause.”

To read Andrea’s blog about Stittsville, please see Energy East pipeline consultations in Stittsville focus on climate change and oil spills.

After Thunder Bay this evening, the ‘Energy East: Our Risk. Their Reward’ tour will continue in North Bay on April 12. For more information on all the stops, please click here.