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Lockdown on Line 9 Infrastructure at Quebec-Ontario Border - Monday Dec 7

Pipeline beginning to flow amid concerns over lack of emergency plan and First Nations consent

by David Gray-Donald

Protestors have locked themselves inside Enbridge infrastructure, a valve along the Line 9 route near the Quebec-Ontario border. Translation of banner: Block Line 9, Enbridge Line 9
Protestors have locked themselves inside Enbridge infrastructure, a valve along the Line 9 route near the Quebec-Ontario border. Translation of banner: Block Line 9, Enbridge Line 9
Locked to pieces of the Line 9 valve
Locked to pieces of the Line 9 valve
Former mayor of the municipality, Patricia Domingos, showing support for the action
Former mayor of the municipality, Patricia Domingos, showing support for the action
View of the site, at the border
View of the site, at the border

Several people have locked themselves to infrastructure of Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline this morning, Dec 7, near where it crosses the Ontario - Qubec border in the municipality of St-Justine-de-Newton. This action has caused Enbridge to stop the flow of oil as of now.

The 40-year old pipeline recently got final approval from the National Energy Board (NEB) to have its flow reversed, and has begun moving heavy western oils from west to east, it has been reported. There has been strong opposition along the line for a variety of reasons, including Line 9's role in tar sands expansion and climate change.

Safety is being brought up today by participants. “It is unacceptable that Enbridge can go forward with the Line 9B flow reversal while communities along the route have not received the necessary contingency plans in the event of an emergency,” said Jean Léger, a community member from the Lower Laurentians.

Another participant, Will, says “It is unthinkable that we could start shipping this oil to Montreal without the free, prior and informed consent of First Nations”. The Chippewa of the Thames First Nation near London, ON, is going to the Supreme Court opposing the Line 9 project, claiming that they were not adequately consulted on the project, which is a violation of treaty agreements and Canadian Charter obligations.

The former mayor of St-Justine-de-Newton, Patricia Domingos, has visited the site along the Line 9 route to show her support for the action, reports 99% Media.

It is also reported that as of 10:15 am on Monday the SQ, the Quebec provincial police, had arrived on the scene. 

UPDATE, 4:12 pm: A video from subMedia.tv "This is how you shut down a pipeline." shows a participant in the action shutting a valve in the Line 9 pipeline this morning, Dec 7.


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David Gray-Donald (David Gray-Donald)
montreal and toronto
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Note from the author: a

Note from the author: a previous version of the story included the word "citizens" in the title. I now realize it was a poor and potentially harmful word choice. The word put a focus on the immigration or citizenship status of people involved and that is not relevance to the main story. Though I knew the status of one person involved, I did not know the status of all and so made what could have been an inaccurate assumption. I realize that for First Nations people (the pipeline goes through many First Nations) such a designation could be very inaccurate and insulting. Also, focusing on one's status has the effect of de-legitimizing certain voices by elevating others, which is unfortunate because we are all of this planet and our voices and actions all matter. Moreover, it is treaty agreements that let "citizens" live on native lands all over this continent and the state or "Crown" (eg Canada) that grants "citizenship" continually breaks those treaties, so it is especially hard to justify elevating this one categorization above others while it is based in a bad faith relationship on the part of the state / crown. 
The original story circulated through media channels with "citizens" as the first word in the title and I realize the damage has therefore been done. The story has been revised. I apologize for this oversight and am thankful for what I was able to learn in the process.


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