Nearly two weeks ahead of elections, Canada’s federal government will face off with frontline communities in a Vancouver courtroom as those communities fight to overturn the approval of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. Starting today, a First Nations-lead coalition is presenting their case against the Conservative government in a six day “mega hearing” following the controversial approval of the project that cuts through 40 traditional First Nation territories. Environmental groups have long revealed that the multibillion dollar pipeline — which would transport bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands towards British Columbia’s Pacific coast — could affect salmon spawning grounds, increase tanker traffic, and put communities vulnerable to pipeline spills at the mercy of an industry with a track record of failure, while simultaneously violating Indigenous land rights. With national party leaders putting their best foot forward as they inch towards the election finish line, all eyes will be on candidates to prove that they are putting people’s best interest ahead of a dwindling industry.
"I'm not leaving this fight for my children. Under no circumstances will this be allowed in Nak'azdli territory." #UnitedAgainstEnbridge
— Jess Housty (@heiltsukvoice) October 1, 2015
- First Nations are using their land rights to protect communities far and wide. First Nations leaders are pursuing legal actions against big oil and the Canadian government by holding them accountable to legal measures put in place to protect their interests. By taking on this battle, they are also working to protect the wider community and the environment from the impacts of this pipeline.
- Pipelines have real impacts on communities. Pipelines are risky — they’re leaky, emit greenhouse gas emissions, affect wildlife and cut through communities while violating the territorial rights of those who live off the land. A project like Northern Gateway could devastate many communities.
- Federal candidates can show that they put people at the forefront of their political agenda. While the Crown deliberates over the legitimacy of this pipeline in the coming days, federal leaders will be on the campaign trail. Now is a unique opportunity for Canada’s next prime minister to show what he or she intends to do for the people and the climate if they were to run the country.
- Northern Gateway pipeline opponents mega-hearing starts today (CBC)
- First Nations’ challenges of Northern Gateway pipeline to be heard in court (Globe and Mail)
- Eight First Nations in federal court to overturn Harper’s Northern Gateway decision (National Observer)
Tools & Resources
- Blog: Northern Gateway battle lands in Court (Ecojustice)
- Press Release: New study compares federal party positions on climate, tar sands and clean energy (Environmental Defence)
- Study: Will Canada Finally Tackle the Climate Challenge? An updated comparison of federal parties’ positions on climate change (Environmental Defence/Equiterre)
- Report: Enbridge Pipe Dreams and Nightmares: The Economic Costs and Benefits of the Proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline (Policy Alternatives)
Facebook Image to Share
- Pull Together (Facebook)
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- Enbridge 21 campaign targets conservative MP’s ahead of Northern Gateway decision
- EU vote opens the door to more Canadian tar sands imports
- “We’re ready for our day in court. We’ve been ready for ten thousand years.” – Jess Housty, Heitsuk First Nation
- “We are living in climate change. There is a water shortage. Water is very pure for us and very sacred to us. Our salmon, our moose, our berries, everything that has to do with hunting and gathering is very sacred to us. Our people depend on it (…) We do depend on the Earth and if they continue to try and expand the tar sands it would destroy our people.” – Geraldine Thomas-Flurer, coordinator of the Yinka Dene Alliance of six B.C. bands opposed to Northern Gateway
- “Enbridge cannot be trusted to build and operate a pipeline that exposes some of our most precious watersheds and ecosystems to the risk of a catastrophic oil spill.” – Nikki Skuce, senior energy campaigner with ForestEthics Advocacy
- “Climate change and pipelines are key issues during this election. This summary reveals a wide gap between different parties’ positions on issues ranging from climate change to renewable energy and transit.” – Steven Guilbeault, Équiterre
- RT @KinquashTluucma Prayers for the 8 Nations facing off against Enbridge today in the Federal Court of Appeal #UnitedAgainstEnbridge
- RT @TarSandsSolns IT’S RALLY TIME! The #UnitedAgainstEnbridge rally begins today at 12:30pm. Be there: https://www.facebook.com/events/768499476592749/ …