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Line 9: The Tar Sands Come to Ontario

by Rachel Deutsch


This Video was screened in Toronto at the Rock Against Line 9 event  on January 6th, 2013. 


Line 9 was built in 1975 to transport imported oil from Montreal to refineries in Sarnia. Enbridge has now applied to Canada's National Energy Board to reverse its direction of flow so that it can transport oil from Sarnia to Montreal.

Enbridge admits that among the possible uses of Line 9 is transporting "heavy oil" a category that includes bitumen, the hazardous raw material extracted from tar sands.

The pipeline passes through cities, watersheds, rivers, and farmland. 9.1 million people live within 50 km of line 9, including 18 first nations communities and 115 communities in total. (Sarnia, Hamilton, North York, Kingston, etc.)

Enbridge has a very poor record of environmental impact. Between 1999 and 2008, Enbridge lists 610 spills that released approximately 21 million litres of hydrocarbons into the surrounding area. But Enbridge is most well-known for their 3.8 million litre spill in Kalamazoo Michigan in 2010, amounting to the largest inland oil spill in US history. Because the spill involved the very hard to clean tar sands bitumen rather than conventional crude oil, the clean-up is still on-going. Meanwhile to this day, residents are still sick from the aftermath of the spill, and tragically many have died since. Most troubling for Ontario residents is that the pipeline that ruptured in Kalamazoo is almost identical to Line 9: it is part of the same pipeline network, uses the same interior lining, and is almost the same age.

With so much at risk, we need to work together to stop Enbridge Line 9. The big picture is spills, contamination, and expanding the tar sands. The even bigger picture is climate change. If it is not halted, climate change will and is resulting in increased frequency and severity of storms, floods, drought, and water shortage, as well as the spread of disease, increased hunger, displacement and mass migrations of people and ensuing social conflict and war.

For more information and to get involved:
Facebook: Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines (ASAP) (focus on B.C.)

Video by Rachel Deutsch
Music by Ozere
Narration by Darren Schilling
Script development: Sakura Saunders
Research: Sakura Saunders, Dave Vasey, Toban Black, Rachel Deutsch, and Alexander Knight 
Sources: Polaris Institute, Indigenous Environmental Network, The Media Co-op, The People Versus Line 9

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