Tag Archives: Pipeline

Local chapter disappointed with federal government pipeline approval


November 29, 2016

For Immediate Release


The Thunder Bay Chapter of the Council of Canadians wishes to respond with grave disappointment to Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement today (November 29/16) of the approval of 2 pipeline projects in Canada.

When this government was elected, we, along with many other Canadians, regarded them with cautious optimism, waiting to see which of their many election promises they would keep.  Today, they have disappointed and angered us with the cabinet approval of the Kinder-Morgan pipeline proposal to carry bitumen from Alberta through Vancouver to the Pacific Ocean, and the approval of Line 3 which is a smaller pipeline to carry Alberta oil to Wisconsin in the USA.

During the election, Mr. Trudeau promised, among other things:

  1. A revamped National Energy Board and a renewed process for reviewing energy proposals.
  2. Climate leadership, to make Canada a climate-positive force in the world;
  3. A new, respectful alliance with indigenous people in Canada, respecting their rights to consultation.
  4. Development which would bring many more new jobs to Canada while guaranteeing Canadians’ health and safety and the environment.

With today’s announcement, Mr. Trudeau has broken every one of those promises.

To quote the youth who marched on Ottawa in October “Climate Leaders Do Not Build Pipelines”.  Since his election, Mr. Trudeau and his Environment and Climate Change Minister have repeatedly used “get our products to market’ almost as a mantra.  Many of us were unable to figure out how this fit with the climate leadership we had been promised both pre-election and in the signing of the Paris agreement.  These pipelines are only needed to allow production in the Tar Sands to expand.  They have sufficient pipeline capacity to carry present production to market now.  This expansion will unleash a whole tidal wave of carbon emissions on the world, in the production of, the shipping of, the refining of, and the burning of this extra amount of very carbon-heavy fossil fuel.

Many indigenous communities from all across the country and particularly in BC have expressed their opposition to pipeline development. This opposition continues to grow: there were more signatories today to the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.

This does not look like a respectful new relationship with indigenous people.

There is a great deal of research which indicates that the investment of money in a green economy, from developing alternative energy sources to better insulating homes to protecting eco-systems, and so on.  Estimates are as high as 15 jobs in a green economy to 1 job in the fossil fuel industry for a comparable investment.  Green economy jobs nor only provide worthwhile employment, they protect the environment and the health and safety of the population.


We are extremely disappointed in these pipeline announcements today, and will continue to struggle against pipeline development and Tar Sands expansion in the days to come.

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Contacts: Ruth Cook




Join in the People’s Injunction

During the federal election campaign, the Liberal party promised to revise the review process for energy  projects such as Energy East, to make sure that there was always an adequate environmental review as   part of the process, among other things.  They have just announced that they are allowing the review of two projects to proceed under the old system:  Trans-Mountain and Energy East.

The Thunder Bay Council of Canadians is participating in a protest against this, called the People’s Injunction.  This protest has been organized across the country by   350.org.

Meet us at:  1:00 PM  Friday January 15th  705 Red River Road  (MP Patty Hajdu’s office)  to let the Liberal government know that leaving the National Energy  Board’s review process unchallenged and unchanged is not acceptable. We hope to see you there!

Energy East pipeline could leak up to 2.6 million litres/day undetected: report

On September 2, the Council of Canadians launched a new report on the Energy East Pipeline that predicts a 15% chance per year of a rupture based on TransCanada’s recent rupture record.

View the report here:  http://canadians.org/energyeast-15percent

NWT premier promotes 100,000 bpd ‘Arctic Gateway’ tar sands pipeline

Northwest Territories premier Bob McLeod is in Washington, DC promoting a proposed 100,000 barrel-per-day ‘Arctic Gateway’ pipeline, a 2,400 kilometres long pipeline from the tar sands of northern Alberta through the Mackenzie Valley to the port of Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean.

Initial shipments of oil could begin by summer 2015 via an existing rail line and barge system from Alberta to Hay River and Tuktoyaktuk.  Oil would then be loaded onto tankers on the Beaufort Sea. The second and third phases would include additional infrastructure, the reversal of an old pipeline, and finally, within five years, the construction of a brand new pipeline from Fort McMurray to Tuktoyaktuk that could export oil all year round.

Pipeline plans are facing opposition in the West [Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain], the East [Energy East], and the South [Keystone XL].  Now, a Canadian premier is in the U.S. this week promoting this as an alternate route for exporting oil.  McLeod has promoted the plan in meetings with Exxon Mobil, the American Petroleum Institute, Canadian diplomats, and in appearances before two Washington think-tanks with numerous members of the Obama administration in attendance.”

Earlier this month, the Financial Post reported, “A newly released report, commissioned by the Alberta government last year, by Arctic petroleum consultants Canatec Associates International Ltd. … suggests that getting oil-sands bitumen to the Far North port of Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., could be a cheap, efficient and effective way to get Alberta’s landlocked bitumen to oil-hungry Asia.”

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers forcast suggest that total Canadian crude oil production will increase from 3.5 million barrels per day in 2013 to 6.4 million barrels per day in 2030. Most of that increase would come from the tar sands, from 1.8 million barrels per day in 2012 to 5.2 million barrels per day by 2030. But according to the International Energy Agency, two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves must stay in the ground in order to limit the rise in average global temperature to the 2-degree-Celsius threshold that climate scientists warn we must not cross.

There may be reason to be optimistic. Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow recently tweeted, “Statoil cancels tar sands project because of lack of pipeline capacity. Our activism is working!” This was in reference to the announcement by Norwegian oil firm Statoil that it was postponing (possibly indefinitely) a 40,000 barrels per day tar sands project in Alberta primarily due to lack of pipeline access. Reuters notes, “While a handful of other projects have also been delayed or canceled this year, due in part to rising costs, Statoil is the first company to explicitly cite the issue of ‘limited pipeline access’ as a reason.”

As we noted in a November 2011 campaign blog, the Globe and Mail has reported, “Protesters have long complained about growing development in the oil sands, but have never been able to slow activity in Alberta’s bitumen-rich north. But by focusing on pipelines, rather than attacking dozens of oil projects themselves, critics have found an effective approach in their effort to thwart expansion in the broader oil sands industry. …Observers argue all of these pipelines are needed to keep up with Canada’s forecast production growth in the oil sands. Blocking one or more means bitumen production will have to slow because existing pipelines will be full by 2015.”

One of Thunder Bay’s Council of Canadian members has stated: “We just get started fighting one pipeline, then another is proposed. The fossil fuel companies and our federal government are truly determined to get this  dirty oil out of the ground and to export market”

Rally Alert! TransCanada Pipeline Ltd.

The Thunder Bay Chapter Council of Canadians will be supporting our friends at CUSP with a “Real Facts Rally” TONIGHT, September 24th.  This is being held to provide an alternative point of view at the TransCanada Pipelines Energy East Open House at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. Please join us! Bring your own signs and props if you can. The more the merrier, and the larger the impact. Members will start gathering at 3:30 PM and we hope to have maximum attendance at 4:30 PM. 

CUSP has prepared a brochure to be handed out, and we will have some fact sheets for people who wish to join in engaging attendees in conversation about the pipeline plans, and/or asking questions of their own to the TransCanada representatives who will be there. Some of us from the Executive of the Council of Canadians will be there to provide information for you. Council of Canadians supporters who do not feel comfortable actively engaging in the “counter-information” aspect of the event are still encouraged to attend to ask questions and learn what you can about the pipeline proposal.

Click here for more background information on the pipeline, and click here to visit CUSP’s website. Hope to see you on Tonight at Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, sometime between 4 and 8 pm for however long you can stay.