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Montreal mayor rejects Line 9 over waterways concerns

The Montreal Gazette reports, “Speaking as president of the Montreal Metropolitan Community [a coordinating body that represents 82 communities in the region], Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre declared Friday he is not convinced Enbridge’s 9B pipeline project is safe for the region’s water supply or that Enbridge’s emergency plan is adequate in the event of an oil spill.”

If it proceeds, Line 9 pipeline would allow the movement of 300,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands and fracked oil from North Dakota eastward to refineries Montreal. The pipeline was approved by the National Energy Board last March with 30 conditions placed on it.

Coderre says, “As of today, two of those 30 conditions … do not seem to have been met. But when we are dealing with the transportation of fuel, we need a perfect score. Error is unacceptable.” The Gazette notes, “Coderre said Enbridge has not provided details to an MMC watchdog committee on the location or frequency of surveillance activity in areas where the pipeline crosses waterways, nor has it identified sensitive zones in each of the municipalities the pipeline would traverse.”

CBC adds, “Coderre said the MMC won’t approve the reversal project until Enbridge meets key criteria: Detailing its plan to protect waterways touched by Line 9 [and] outlining its emergency plan in case of a spill. …He said his next step is to ask the National Energy Board and the federal minister responsible for natural resources to withhold approval of Line 9’s reversal until the concerns of the MMC are properly addressed.”

Council of Canadians chapter activists in Montreal, Toronto, York University, London, Hamilton, South Niagara, Guelph, Peterborough, and Thunder Bay have been actively opposing Line 9. In February, a CTV W5 investigative report said that Line 9 had spilled at least 35 times in the Great Lakes region.