Council of Canadians
The Energy East: Our Risk – Their Reward tour arrives in North Bay today, featuring Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow, Eriel Deranger of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (AFCN) as keynote speakers.
There will be a public event on Saturday evening, featuring these speakers and other local speakers.
Doors will open at 6:30 and the program will get underway at 7 pm, in the Canada Room at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23 on First Avenue.
From April 7-16, the Council of Canadians, with local partners, is holding a series of public forums and events in six communities along TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline route.
“Transporting 1.1 million barrels of oil per day, Energy East would be the largest oil pipeline in North America,” says Barlow.
“Almost all of the oil is expected to be exported, with benefits flowing to the oil industry.
In Ontario, TransCanada will attempt to use a converted 40-year-old natural gas pipeline to carry tar sands oil, including diluted bitumen, over some of the provinces most important waterways.”
Filling Energy East would help spur a 40% increase in tar sands production.
Downstream First Nations are calling for an end to further expansion.
“ACFN members are witnessing the rapid and wide-scale industrialization of their traditional lands for rapid tar sands production – lands that have sustained our communities, culture and distinctive ways of life for countless generations,” says Deranger.
“Current production is large enough that 80 per cent of the traditional territories of the ACFN and Mikisew Cree First Nation are rendered inaccessible for periods of the year due to tar sands development. Not only do the tar sands put my communities’ culture and traditional way of life at risk for future generations, diluted bitumen shipped through northern Ontario puts your land and water at risk.”
Producing the crude needed to fill Energy East would generate the climate pollution equivalent to that of all the cars in Ontario, every year.
“North Bay’s water is precious to us all”, commented local resident Donna Sinclair, also scheduled to speak during the North Bay program.
“TransCanada’s plan to convert the natural gas pipeline into a carrier for crude oil puts Trout Lake and the fifty-plus other water bodies in the North Bay at risk. We’ll be left with the long term risk, while TransCanada pursues the short-term reward”.
Prior to the main event, the public is also invited to join a gathering to Honour the Water on the North Bay waterfront.
Beginning at 5:15, participants will gather near the SunDial, just south of the Waterfront Pedestrian Underpass.