G Ross Lord Reservoir
Finch Ave east of Dufferin
North York, ON
At 7:00 this morning, a group of residents calling themselves the Community Response Unit for Decontaminating our Environment (CRUDE) interrupted a work-site on a section of Enbridge’s Line 9 near Dufferin and Finch in North York. The group’s action is in support of the work stoppage near Innerkip, Ontario, that was evicted yesterday and is part of a broader fight against the Line 9 reversal. At both Innerkip and North York sites, Enbridge is doing work that is necessary before the company can bring the reversal of Line 9 into operation. The reversal of flow is set to transport tar sands bitumen and Bakken crude through Ontario. Throughout the summer, concerned community members throughout the region have been engaging in actions to prevent the completion of the work, in order to stop the pipeline from being turned on.
The group is highlighting the risk of spills associated with the pipeline. “Line 9 was not built to transport tar sands bitumen and the reversal is threatening communities along the route,” activist Kaleigh McGregor-Bales pointed out. “This section of the Line 9 pipeline passes through low-income communities and communities of colour, part of the broader pattern of environmental racism and colonialism where Indigenous communities, poor communities and communities of colour face disproportionate levels of harm and toxic exposure.”
Line 9 passes through or close to 18 First Nations communities, many of whom say they have not been consulted, as required under Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution. The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation recently announced it is challenging the National Energy Board’s approval of Line 9 on the basis that the community was not consulted on the reversal project.
An example of the ongoing corporate negligence, according to CRUDE, was the recent spill in BC of an estimated 10 billion litres of toxic water from a tailings pond under the management of Imperial Metals. “Companies are trying to cut corners in the interest of the bottom line,” Umair Muhammed said. The group is calling on the Ontario government to conduct an environmental assessment of Line 9 and for Enbridge to stop work on the pipeline until the lawsuit with the Chippewas of the Thames is completed.
Yesterday in Innerkip, two protesters locked themselves to barrels to continue to block work on the construction site after an injunction was served to the blockade on day six of the protest. By 11 p.m. last night both protestors had been removed by police.