People's Hearing on the Tar Sands Pipeline

A community-based response to Enbridge's line 9 phase I proposal

Mike Hudema’s statement

The tar sands are a toxic project that is already devastating land, water, ecosystems, climate and communities.

The tar sands alone will pump more greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere then all the cars in Canada combined. They turn forests, and peat lands into barren moonscapes.

The second largest dam in the world, second only to the three gorges dam in China, is in the tar sands. It is owned by Syncrude Canada and is full of toxic waste. These toxic pools already span over 140 sq km of Alberta and are growing larger and leaking every day.

The tar sands are also destroying a traditional way of life of First Nation people in the tar sands region. The Beaver Lake Cree have already filled a lawsuit citing over 20,000 treaty violations because of tar sands operations on their traditional territory. The community of Fort Chipewyan continue to deal with on-going health issues caused by tar sands operations.

The list goes on and on.

With each pipeline the destruction that will take place in the tar sands epi-centre will grow. The threats and damage to land, water, climate and communities will increase.

In addition, each new pipeline will mean the threats and impacts from the tar sands will be brought to new communities.

Over the last decade Enbridge has had an average of a spill a week. Spills and ruptures will happen, it is a question of when, not if. This same exact line that Enbridge is proposing to double has already burst causing the largest tar sands spill in U.S. history – a spill that Enbridge still has not cleaned up.

There are better ways to create jobs and build an economy than supporting an industry that destroys land, poisons rivers, threatens communities and is changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Our communities, our climate, and our environment are too precious to blow on these toxic tar sands pipelines.

We stand in solidarity with First Nations, communities and people across the country as we say no to tar sands pipelines and yes to the green energy future Canada deserves.

Mike Hudema, Climate and Energy campaigner with Greenpeace, Canada

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