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Thunder Bay chapter calls on Trudeau to stop pipeline reviews

Council of Canadians Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay rally, January 15, 2016

The Council of Canadians Thunder Bay chapter is calling on the Trudeau government to halt existing pipeline reviews.

The Chronicle Journal reports, “A coalition of Thunder Bay environmental groups are urging the federal government to stop the review processes on two oil pipeline projects. On Friday [Jan. 15], about a dozen people rallied outside of Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Patty Hajdu’s constituency office on Red River Road and delivered a letter addressed to Hajdu and Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Don Rusnak asking them for their support in halting the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipeline in Burnaby, B.C., and the Energy East pipeline, which would run through Lake Superior’s watershed.”

The news report highlights, “Ruth Cook, chairwoman of the Thunder Bay chapter of the Council of Canadians said they’ve been with the coalition for a long time to stop the Energy East pipeline. She said it wasn’t only important to come to the rally to show support to stop the pipeline process, but also to hold the federal government to account.”

During the federal election, the Liberals had stated, “Canadians must be able to trust that government will engage in appropriate regulatory oversight, including credible environmental assessments, and that it will respect the rights of those most affected, such as Indigenous communities. …We will also ensure that environmental assessments include an analysis of upstream impacts and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from projects under review.”

But the National Energy Board hearings on the Trans Mountain pipeline are set to resume on Jan. 19 in Burnaby without any changes to that process. Yesterday, 350.org went to Winnipeg MP Jim Carr’s office to “search” for the new rules. The organization later reported, “The Minister [of Natural Resources], in his office for meetings, confirmed that no new pipeline rules exist, and that the Kinder Morgan pipeline review would go forward under the rules laid out by Stephen Harper.” As early as Nov. 25, 2015, Carr had assured energy executives in Calgary that, “The proponents will not be asked to go back to square one.”

Cook says, “This government, before they were the government, made a tremendous number of promises and they are working on keeping a lot of them and we found that to be very positive but we found this one and it kind of felt as if it was being slipped in and thinking it would be under the radar and we wouldn’t notice. I can’t say that was their motivation but it was discouraging to think of all the promises, this one wasn’t being kept. [If the pipelines are built, it would fly in the face] of their climate promises [made at the COP21 climate summit in Paris].”

Along with our chapter, members of Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet, Environment North, Ontario Nature, Fossil Free Lakehead, and the Lakehead University Environmental Law Students Association participated in the Jan. 15 rally.

To keep pressure on the Trudeau government to stop the flawed pipeline reviews, please add your name to our Keep your promises, Liberals: Stop pipeline reviews action alert.