Tarsands Pipelines and Climate Change

Video credits are at on the Youtube page here.


Toronto350.org is one of many groups that have signed onto this open letter to the PM and Cabinet Members calling for a fair review of pipeline projects that includes all scientific evidence, welcomes public participation and puts in place a climate test that ensures Canada doesn’t build infrastructure that makes the 1.5 degree limit of global temperature rise impossible. The review must include true consultations with Indigenous communities and respect the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

TAKE ACTION:  by emailing the letter to any or all of the following Minister!  Please let us know if you do, by cc'ing katie@toronto350.org

justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca Prime Minister

Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca  Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Jim.Carr@parl.gc.ca   Minister of Natural Resources

ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

carolyn.bennett@parl.gc.ca Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Kirsty.Duncan@parl.gc.ca  Minister of Science

Chrystia.Freeland@parl.gc.ca Minister of International Trade

Navdeep.Bains@parl.gc.ca  Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Jody.Wilson-Raybould@parl.gc.ca  Minister of Justice

Jane.Philpott@parl.gc.ca  Minister of Health

Stephan.Dion@parl.gc.ca  Minister of International Development

Full list of Cabinet Ministers


This campaign engages people with the link between new fossil fuel infrastructure and its incompatibility with Canada's climate commitments to keeping global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The Facts: 


  • Pipelines are needed for expansion of Alberta's tarsands, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, and the world's dirtiest fossil fuel extraction
  • Transcanada's proposed Energy East pipeline would carry 1.1 million barrels of oil per day, making it the largest tarsands pipeline ever.
  • The National Energy Board (NEB) currently does not consider climate impacts as part of its assessment of pipelines.  The federal government has promised rigorous reforms to the NEB to include better environmental assessment, public participation and consultation with First Nations groups.  But so far, the NEB is operating business a usual
  • A banner that says Energy East - Canada's Climate TestTo mitigate runaway climate change, Canada needs to keep 80% of tarsands fossil fuels in the ground.


This campaign aims to block pipeline approval and advocate for a just transition away from fossil fuels.  This is an important fight and there are many ways to get involved. 

How Can I Get Involved? 

Toronto350 is among grassroots leaders in Toronto actively working to stop the Energy East Pipeline.  We are calling on the federal government to freeze all current National Energy Board pipeline applications until promised NEB reforms for stronger environmental and climate assessment, public participation, and constitutional requirements for duty to consult with First Nations, Metis and Inuit groups are met.  

We need you! In the next months we will be:  

  • Meeting with MPs in Toronto ridings to push for the implementation of the recommendations in the letter
  • Writing letters to the editor and other communications to draw public attention to the faulty NEB process and federal promises for its reform
  • Building relationships with Indigenous and community groups opposing Energy East, other pipelines and the NEB process
  • Door-to-Door and phone canvassing to distribute lawn signs advocating for keeping fossil fuels in the ground
  • Growing our list of supporters who will pressure elected leaders to support NEB reform and a moratorium on pipeline applications
  • Creative, non-violent direct actions 
  • To get involved with this exciting and multi-faceted campaign come to one of our regular weekly planning meetings or email katie@toronto350.org to find out about volunteer opportunities. 

Past Actions

In February, a national campaign called the People's Climate Intervention engaged over 1800 citizens across Canada to apply to the NEB to intervene in Energy East hearings, on the grounds that the increased GHG emissions would affect us all directly through climate impacts.  

Over 300 of these were organized by Toronto350.org--we hosted and supported more than 10 application parties to engage people with the issue and the (corrupt) regulatory process.   Our applications are still being processed by the NEB, but we except most to be rejected.  We will use this momentum to pressure our governments to take a stance on Energy East and denounce the regulatory process, through media, political interventions and peaceful direct actions.


Read More About Energy East 

Energy East is a massive tar sands pipeline, proposed by TransCanada, that would run from Alberta to New Brunswick. The oil it will transport would be like adding 7 million new cars to the road, and cancel out the GHG reductions from closing down Ontario's coal plants. It will cross more than 50 First Nations communities and hundreds of waterways—which will be vulnerable to spills. 

This single pipeline could undo all progress on climate change in Canada

Ecology Ottawa Report

Climate Implications of the Proposed Energy East Pipeline--Pembina Report


Line 9


The Enbridge Line 9 pipeline currently carries conventional oil west through Toronto. Enbridge was applied to increase the capacity of the pipeline and to shift its use to transporting diluted bitumen east from the oil sands for export. This creates a local threat of spills, since diluted bitumen is riskier to transport than conventional oil, and it contributes to the growth of the oil sands.

Toronto350.org supports allies working to stop Line 9.  To donate to the legal funds for frontline line 9 defenders, click here