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Hamilton chapter protests Line 10 outside NEB hearing

Hamilton chapter activist Kathie Clark speaks against the Line 10 pipeline today. Photos by Ute Schmid Jones and Pete Dako.

The Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter protested alongside allies today against the Enbridge Line 10 pipeline.

Hamilton News reports, “There was a heavy security presence at the entrance to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Hamilton Oct. 18 as protestors blew horns and chanted their opposition to the National Energy Board’s hearing on the proposed Line 10 pipeline expansion through the city. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned in the 2015 federal election to reform the NEB since Canadians had lost confidence in the process. The Liberals did put in place interim measures, such as consulting more frequently with First Nations peoples. But any reforms that are introduced to the NEB will come after the panel decides on the Line 10 application.”

The article highlights, “There were over 90 people holding signs calling Trudeau to account, blowing air horns and chanting from a variety of groups including Environment Hamilton, the Hamilton chapter of the Council of Canadians, and members of the local aboriginal population.”

The Hamilton Spectator adds, “In the hearing, Six Nations lawyer Ben Javin asked numerous questions of Enbridge officials about notifying and consulting with Six Nations. Lonny Bomberry, with the Six Nations elected council, told the Spectator that the council is seeking monetary compensation for Enbridge’s use of territorial lands for its pipelines — as well as treaty rights and land use protection. Six Nations is also concerned about the pipeline’s effect on wildlife, fish and streams, he said, and will have its own environmental witnesses testifying before the NEB on Wednesday when the hearing continues.”

As noted on the Enbridge website, “Line 10 is a 143-kilometre export pipeline that carries oil from Enbridge’s Westover Terminal in Hamilton, Ontario to West Seneca, a suburb of Buffalo, New York. From there, the oil travels via the Kiantone Pipeline to Warren, Pennsylvania, where it is refined into gasoline, diesel, propane, butane, asphalt and other petroleum products.”

The pipeline basically runs south of the western tip of Lake Superior and north of the eastern tip of Lake Erie.

It has a capacity of about 73,000 barrels per day, but currently operates at about 63,000 bpd. Enbridge now wants to see a larger 20-inch pipeline replace about 35 kilometres of the current 12-inch pipeline that runs through Hamilton. According to the company, the pipeline moves heavy and light crude oil.

Amy Jarek, the NEB’s Vice President of Communications and Engagement, says, “The hearings this week will provide an opportunity for oral cross examination and final argument in front of a three-member hearing panel. Once final argument is complete, the NEB will consider all it has heard, and all of the evidence placed on the record when making a decision on whether or not the project is in the public interest.”

Today’s protest highlights there is little faith in the NEB process and that we need to commit to a 100 per cent clean energy future and not more pipelines.

Enbridge wants to start construction on the pipeline in 2017 and to have it in service in early 2018.