Andrea Harden-Donahue's blog
Last night the Thunder Bay city council agreed to put a resolution opposing TransCanada's 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline project on hold.
In no small irony, the motion to defer was brought forward by Iain Angus, Vice President of NOMA (Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association) who has openly endorsed the project, including appearing on TransCanada's webpage. The resolution will again be considered by council two months after the National Energy Board declares TransCanada's project application complete.
Mark your calendars – July 4 and 5 are key dates to hit the streets for Jobs, Justice and the Climate.
On July 5th Toronto will host a Pan American Climate Summit and an Economic Summit. Politicians will face a choice: listen to corporate leaders from across the Americas gathering to advance an economic austerity agenda that is increasing inequality and causing a climate crisis felt disproportionately in the global south – or listen to the people.
Thousands will take to the streets of downtown Toronto to March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate. If you're close to Toronto, you do not want to miss this moment: click here to RSVP today.
Waking yesterday morning I knew we would be crossing the increasingly thin ice to reach the community of Shoal Lake 40. Part of me I’ll admit, was a little nervous. And the larger part of me realized how entirely unacceptable it is that I will never have to make the choice to cross thinning ice again… until I visit Shoal Lake 40 again, or there is justice for this community.
Driving from Winnipeg to Iskatewizaagegan (Shoal Lake 39) we began to truly appreciate the distance the aqueduct from Shoal Lake, supplying clean drinking water to 600 000 + residents.
With me was Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, Council of Canadians, Chris Gallaway, Prairies Regional Organizer and Jobb with out local Winnipeg Chapter and Alex Paterson of Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition and Ben Gotschall, a Nebraskan rancher fighting Keystone XL with Bold Nebraska.
Arriving in Iskatewizaagegan, we were greeted warmly by Chief Fawn Wapioke and led to the community’s roundhouse. Clearly a special and meaningful place, we sat in a circle and began our dialogue with a welcome from Elder Steven Kejick.
In a recent presentation to Fredericton’s Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Maloney, the Manager of New Build Pipelines for Alberta and New Brunswick for TransCanada, stated: “We have never had a failure in a watercourse crossing. Ever.” See Global News coverage of the presentation.
As part of our Prairies Energy East, Our Risk – Their Reward tour, we were led today on a tour of key sites in St. Norbert (part of Winnipeg) by a local organic farmer. She and others in the community can testify that this just isn’t the case.
In 1996 a TransCanada natural gas pipeline (manufactured in 1962) ruptured in a watercourse here.
Today is the final day the National Energy Board (NEB) is receiving applications to participate in TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project review. As I write this, close to 1700 applications have been submitted. From impacted landowners, farmers, First Nations and Indigenous organizations, to municipalities and provincial governments along the route, special interest groups, NGOs, and more.
The Council of Canadians has been heavily mobilizing on a number of levels around the NEB.
Let me first affirm, the NEB review is a broken process.
There are 23 days left to apply to intervene in the National Energy Board’s (NEB) Energy East pipeline review.
The Council of Canadians, alongside a number of others environmental, landowner, community and Indigenous groups and First Nations are busy raising awareness about the opportunities presented by the Energy East review.
First, let me be clear, the process is broken.
The Harper government eliminated federal environmental assessments of pipeline projects, put the industry-friendly National Energy Board in charge of pipeline reviews, limited public participation in reviews to “directly affected and expert” people, shortened the timeline for participation, and gave federal cabinet the final decision making power over pipeline projects.
On January 29th, I participated in the Ontario Energy Board Stakeholder session held in Ottawa. It was an interesting day.
I spent most of it sitting with Ben Powless of Ecology Ottawa and Adam Scott of Environmental Defence, asking some hard hitting questions of the technical advisors hired by the OEB. I also had the opportunity to make a presentation to other stakeholders and members of the Ontario Energy Board.
You can watch my presentation on CPAC here, starting at 106:50.
The European Parliament has narrowly voted to allow a weakened Fuel Quality Directive, a modest climate measure to reduce emissions from transport fuel by 6 per cent by 2020, to proceed.
Originally the Directive included a label identifying tar sands as a high carbon fuel, thereby discouraging it's use. This label was removed after heavy, well funded lobbying on the part of federal and Albertan governments, and industry.