by John Riddell
A day-long grassroots conference in Toronto, November 17 will discuss plans by Enbridge Inc. to pipe dangerous tar sands crude from Sarnia to Montreal through Line 9.
The event, The Tar Sands Come to Ontario: Stop Line 9 , will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sidney Smith Hall,100 St. George St.
Enbridge’s proposal to modify Line 9 is now before the National Energy Board. The change would allow it to pipe hazardous bitumen across twelve major watersheds in Ontario including the Grande and Thames rivers, violating Haudenosaunee land rights and imperilling our water supply. Line 9 endangers many First Nations in Ontario and passes close to the province’s largest cities.
Across Canada, indigenous peoples are leading the campaign against the tar-sands menace. The “Defend Our Coast” coalition has united 132 First Nations, 23 municipalities, and residents across B.C. in a campaign that poses a huge obstacle to tar sands pipeline projects in that province. In Alberta, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Beaver Lake Cree have taken Shell and the Alberta government, respectively, to court. In Ontario, the Haudenosaunee Development Institute, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, and Oneida Nation all submitted concerns to the National Energy Board against Line 9.
Part A (10-12 a.m.) Five workshops
- the tar sands’ impact on our communities;
- how tar sands affect working people, and the climate jobs alternative;
- climate justice and the global south;
- the tar sands, climate change, and capitalism;
- how to stop Line 9.
Speakers in workshops include: Vanessa Gray (Aamjiwnaang First Nation), Nick DiCarlo (CAW environmental activist), Raul Burbano (Common Frontiers), Ian Angus (Climate and Capitalism), Anna Zalik (York University), Aaron Belter (Haudenosaunee Development Institute.
(12 noon).Lunch will be provided
Part B (12:45-2:45) Keynote Panel “Resistance, solutions and solidarity: Indigenous leaders and allies” will hear
- Maude Barlow (Council of Canadians)
- Art Sterritt, (Executive Director, B.C. Coastal First Nations)
- Wes Elliott (Haudenosaunee land defender).
Part C (3-5 p.m.) People’s Assembly with action-oriented discussion groups, aiming to develop strategies to win the tar-sands pipeline battle in Ontario and across the continent.
The Tar Sands Come To Ontario: No Line 9! is organized by Center for Social Justice, Climate Justice Working Group/Science for Peace, the Council of Canadians Toronto, Common Frontiers, Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network, OPIRG-Toronto, Toronto Bolivia Solidarity, and Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church Public Witness Circle.
The conference forms part of the November 15-18 OPIRG Toronto+York Rebuilding Bridges conference.