Stop Energy East Pipeline Petition
The Thunder Bay Chapter of the Council of Canadians joins other grassroots groups in this petition expressing deep concern over TransCanada Corporation’s Energy East proposal to export tar sands oil in a converted natural gas pipeline through Northern and Eastern Ontario . First, Energy East is not compatible with the urgent need for efforts to hold back accelerating climate change. Investment in massive new fossil-fuel infrastructure will lock us into growing carbon emissions at a time when we must quickly reduce them.
Second, it is not safe. As a natural gas pipeline this TransCanada Mainline has had 13 large explosions since 1992 and at least 64 spillage incidents since 2000. Stress corrosion cracking in an old pipeline will, without doubt, result in more ruptures. The bitumen itself is virtually impossible to clean up, and the diluents which liquefy it are explosive. Just one pipeline rupture could cause significant and permanent damage to the local economy, the health of our citizens, and to the sensitive ecosystems within the Lake Superior watershed.
We are asking communities along TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline to please join us in letting northern leaders know that a tar sands pipeline is not compatible with the urgent need for efforts to hold back accelerating climate change, nor is it safe for communities or the environment. Please sign our petition and feel welcome to post and distribute it
Wednesday, April 9 at 7pm Lakehead Labour Centre 929 Fort William Road
Featuring: Maude Barlow, The Council of Canadians on protecting our water Eriel Deranger, Athabaska Fort Chipewyan First Nation on living downstream from the tar sands Jason MacLean, Lakehead University Faculty of Law Adam Scott, Environmental Defence
With information and video on the billion dollar tar sands spill in Kalamazoo, Michigan
TransCanada’s Energy East project would be the largest pipeline in North America. It would ship 1.1 million barrels of oil every day through Ontario towards St. John New Brunswick. Join us to find out why this massive tar sands pipeline puts our air, land and water at risk. For more information about the tour visit http://www.canadians.org/energyeast-tour
On March 26, Thunder Bay Council of Canadians Chair Tom Cook and Public Relations Chair Ruth Cook gave an EnergyEast presentation to the Ontario Energy Board outlining 4 major areas of concern; economic impacts, safety, climate change and local democratic impact and control. The OEB will conduct a second round of EnergyEast consultations in the summer of 2014.
Ontario’s EnergyEast Consultation Process
In November 2013, Ontario’s Minister of Energy asked the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to examine and report on TransCanada PipeLines Limited’s proposed Energy East Pipeline from an Ontario perspective (read the Nov 12, 2013 letter). To support the preparation of the report, the Minister asked the OEB to undertake a consultation process. This consultation process will provide a forum for Ontarians to express their views on the proposed Energy East Pipeline. These views will inform the OEB’s report to the Minister.
The Minister has asked that the OEB consider the implications of four areas of potential impact of TransCanada’s proposed Energy East Pipeline:
- The impacts on Ontario natural gas consumers in terms of prices, reliability and access to supply, especially for those consumers living in eastern and northern Ontario
- The impacts on pipeline safety and the natural environment in Ontario
- The impacts on Aboriginal communities in Ontario, in particular how treaty and Aboriginal rights may be affected
- The short and long term economic impacts of the project in Ontario
The Government of Ontario intends to participate as an intervenor in the National Energy Board’s (NEB) review of the proposed Energy East Pipeline (learn more about the NEB process) and the Minister will use the OEB’s report to help formulate the Government’s position.
In his March 22 letter to the editor of the Chronicle Journal, John B. Challinor 11, Director of Corporate Affairs for Nestle Waters Canada, claims that the Thunder Bay Council of Canadians request that Thunder Bay become a Blue Community is the result of a “Trojan horse-like” union-led conspiracy under the guise of human rights and infrastructure management. A Blue Community is a municipality that has adopted three resolutions that recognize access to safe, clean water as a human right, promote public water and waste water services and ban bottled water in municipal facilities and municipal events.
There are 14 Blue Communities in Canada and 84 municipalities, 2 territories, 7 school boards and 66 post-secondary institutions have banned or restricted the use of bottled water. (Polaris Institute) Mayor Hobbs, several City Councillors, the EarthCare Advisory Committee, EcoSuperior, CUPE Local 87 and many concerned citizens, environmental groups, health professionals, educators, students and First Nations have expressed support for Thunder Bay becoming a Blue Community. Mr. Challinor’s claim that supporters of this initiative are misguided and misled and not exercising independent thinking, simply does not hold water.
Around the world, demand for water is growing, while supply diminishes. Water is being called the Blue Gold of the 21st Century. The multi-billion dollar private water industry sees this as an opportunity to buy water for very little and sell it back to the public for huge profits. Water is a human right, not a commodity. 25% of bottled water is actually municipal tap water. If the private water industry’s takeover of public water is allowed to continue, who will ensure the protection of our water and its fair and equitable distribution? This is clearly a human rights issue.
Unlike municipal tap water, bottled water is regulated under the Canadian Food and Inspection agency and bottling plants are only inspected every one to three years. Thunder Bay has state-of-the-art public water and waste water systems. Our municipal tap water is stringently regulated, continuously monitored and tested more than 29,000 times annually. Many other communities that participated in public private partnerships (P3s) have taken back their water and waste water services. It makes sense that informed elected officials and citizens want to maintain public control of our water and waste water infrastructure and services.
Bottling water drains aquifers and shipping water outside its original source devastates watersheds. Bottling water is incredibly wasteful. The equivalent of 3-5 bottles of water is used to produce a single bottle of water. The Pacific Institute estimates the annual fossil fuel footprint of bottled water consumption in the United States is the equivalent of 50 million barrels of oil – enough to run 3 million cars for three years. Despite extensive recycling programs, 650 million plastic water bottles end up in landfill in Ontario each year. Mr. Challinor’s statement that the Blue Communities initiative is not an environmental issue, displays an alarming lack of understanding of the true costs of bottled water.
In 2009 the Federation of Canadian Municipalities recommended that its members phase out the sale of bottled water in their facilities. In 2010, City Council banned the distribution of bottled water in municipal facilities. Since then, the City has implemented a Back to the Tap program and made tap water more easily accessible in its facilities and at its events for people on the go.
If there is a ‘Trojan horse-like conspiracy’ as Nestle claims, it’s the multi-billion dollar water industry’s massive public relations campaign to undermine faith in public water in an effort to divert attention from its corporate takeover.
Located at the headwaters of the world’s largest body of freshwater, becoming a Blue Community will confirm Thunder Bay as a leader in the protection of this shared public resource and help our community and our planet more sustainable.
Sincerely, Janice Horgos, Chair of the Thunder Bay Council of Canadians Blue Planet Committee
The Thunder Bay Chapter of the Council of Canadians is pleased to sponsor two Environmental Film Festival films being shown on Saturday, March 22 at 7pm at the Paramount Theatre, 24 Court Street, Waterfront District. Free admission (donations accepted) door prizes and post film discussion. Scent free event.
“A Thirsty World’ followed by “Mysteries of the Great Lakes”
Celebrate World Water Day and learn about local and global water issues.
Sunday, March 16
Celebrate Superior Water
Water Offering in Spirit Garden at noon
12:30 – 3:30 pm in Baggage Room Building
Info Fair Children’s Activities Cake
There is a growing worldwide water crisis due to the impacts of climate change, pollution, over-extraction and privatization. On Monday, March 3, the Thunder Bay Council of Canadians gave a presentation to Mayor Hobbs and City Councillors requesting that Thunder Bay become a Blue Community.
The Blue Communities Project is a joint Council of Canadians/CUPE initiative designed to help municipalities and citizens protect their shared water resources. Blue Communities adopt three resolutions recognizing access to safe, clean water as a human right, promoting publicly financed, owned and operated water and waste water services and banning (phasing out) bottled water in municipal facilities and at municipal events. 5 reasons to ban bottled water Spinning the Bottle
By becoming a Blue Community, Thunder Bay will promote water justice, protect public water and create a more sustainable community and planet.
Let Mayor Hobbs and City Councillors know that you support Thunder Bay becoming a Blue Community.