Tag Archives: Energy East pipeline

Keystone XL, Line 3 and Trans Mountain ‘More Vital Than Ever’ as Energy East Cancelled: Analyst


An analyst says the shelving of TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East pipeline means it’s more vital than ever that three other pipelines to oil export markets proceed as planned.

AltaCorp Capital analyst Dirk Lever said Friday that Canadian producers will have to transport any new oil production over the next year or so using railcars because the pipelines leaving Western Canada now are essentially full.

He said the next capacity increase is expected to come with Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement project, which is under construction and will add 370,000 barrels per day of capacity to the United States by early 2019.

But that additional room will only just accommodate new output from oilsands expansions and the situation will remain tight until the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline to the West Coast proposed by Kinder Morgan is in service, which is expected to add 590,000 barrels per day by late 2019.

TransCanada hasn’t yet approved its Keystone XL pipeline into the U.S., but Lever said its 830,000-barrel-per-day capacity will likely provide enough room for Canadian oil production growth until about 2030, when the industry expects Canadian production to reach five million barrels per day.

He said Energy East could come off the shelf if any of the other pipelines don’t go ahead, or if market conditions change to encourage higher production growth.

The Canadian Press

[SOURCE]

TransCanada Won’t Proceed With Energy East Pipeline

The pipeline would have transported more than a million barrels of oil every day. (Reuters)

Pipeline company opts to kill 2 eastern-based energy projects

TransCanada says it won’t proceed with its Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline proposals.

Russ Girling, the Calgary-based energy company’s chief executive officer, said in a statement that National Energy Board and Quebec officials will be informed TransCanada won’t go forward with the applications.

“We appreciate and are thankful for the support of labour, business and manufacturing organizations, industry, our customers, Irving Oil, various governments, and the approximately 200 municipalities who passed resolutions in favour of the projects,” Girling said in a release.

“Most of all, we thank Canadians across the country who contributed towards the development of these initiatives.”

The proposed Energy East project would have carried more than one million barrels of oil every day from Alberta and Saskatchewan across the country to be refined in Quebec and New Brunswick and then exported. It would have added 1,500 kilometres worth of new oil pipelines to an existing network of more than 3,000 kilometres, which would have been converted from carrying natural gas, to carrying oil.

The company says it will take a $1-billion charge to write down the project on its books in its next quarterly results. But the full price tag for the project would have been much higher, with some estimates at as much as $16 billion.​

The company first proposed the project in 2013, when oil prices neared $100 a barrel. But the project’s future had come in doubt since then as the economics changed, and regulatory and environmental hurdles started piling up.

As recently as last month, TransCanada suspended its application to the National Energy Board (NEB) and hinted it might decide not to pursue the project in light of the regulator’s new, tougher review process.

TransCanada shares were slightly higher on Thursday, an indication that investors weren’t surprised by the news, considering TransCanada announced last month it would undergo a “careful review” of the process.

“We were not assigning much of a probability of the project proceeding as scheduled,” TD Bank analyst Linda Ezergailis said in a note to clients after the cancellation was announced.

Energy East was an oil pipeline, but the Eastern Mainline project, which was also killed on Thursday, would have transported natural gas along the north shore of Lake Ontario.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said in a statement that the company’s decision not to move forward with Energy East is “not good news” for those who wanted to see the pipeline built, including the provincial government.

“Like many New Brunswickers, we are disappointed. The project would have created jobs in New Brunswick and helped the Canadian economy,” Gallant said.

His counterpart in Alberta, Premier Rachel Notley, echoed those sentiments, saying, “We are deeply disappointed by the recent decision from TransCanada. We understand that it is driven by a broad range of factors that any responsible business must consider. Nonetheless, this is an unfortunate outcome for Canadians.”

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association expressed its disappointment with the decision, and blamed governments for forcing the company’s hand.

“The loss of this major project means the loss of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars for Canada, and will significantly impact our country’s ability to access markets for our oil and gas,” CEPA said.

“Pipelines are the only viable way to move large quantities of oil and natural gas to markets, safely and responsibly. With global demand for energy expected to rise and extensive supply potential in Western Canada, Canada will be missing out on a significant economic opportunity if governments do not see value in pipeline projects such as Energy East.”

CBC News Posted: Oct 05, 2017

[SOURCE]

Kellie Leitch Pledges To ‘Lock Up’ Unlawful Pipeline Protesters

Kellie Leitch arrives at the Conservative summer caucus retreat in Halifax on Sept. 13. (Photo: Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Kellie Leitch arrives at the Conservative summer caucus retreat in Halifax on Sept. 13. (Photo: Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Conservative leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch is pledging to “lock up” and monitor Canadians who unlawfully protest pipeline projects if she becomes prime minister.

Leitch made the promise in her latest incendiary press release, sent hours before a bilingual debate in Moncton, N.B., in which she affirmed support for the Energy East pipeline project.

“We will not tolerate acts of vandalism or violence from those who would illegally stand in the way of the economic prosperity of our people,” the Tory MP said in the release. “There is a place for legitimate protest, but we will lock up the agitators and activists who resort to vandalism and violence when they do not get their way.”

Leitch took to Facebook to unveil a so-called “five-point plan” to promote natural resource projects, including unspecified stiffer penalties for unlawful protesters.

She promised to create a “new force” comprised of “specialized components” of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada Revenue Agency and Global Affairs Canada. Such a group would “coordinate investigations, freeze bank accounts, and lay charges” against illegal protesters.

And she also pledged to “classify environmental lobbying as a political activity to ensure transparency in funding and get international money out of the process.” Canadian charitable foundations can currently maintain their tax exempt status as long as no more than 10 per cent of their resources are dedicated to political activities.

“We will lock up the agitators and activists who resort to vandalism and violence when they do not get their way.”

The release comes as Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr continues to face questions over his suggestion the Canadian military could be used to quash illegal protests over the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. He made his comments to Alberta business leaders last week.

“If people choose for their own reasons not to be peaceful, then the government of Canada, through its defence forces, through its police forces, will ensure that people will be kept safe,” Carr said.

Jim Carr, right, Minister of Natural Resources, speaks as Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, appear at a press conference in Richmond, B.C., on Sept. 27. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Jim Carr, right, Minister of Natural Resources, speaks as Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, appear at a press conference in Richmond, B.C., on Sept. 27. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The minister later told CBC News those remarks weren’t meant to be a “warning” to protesters.

In question period Friday, B.C. NDP MP Randall Garrison urged the defence minister to remind his colleague the “federal government has no such authority to use our military against pipeline protests.” Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Liberals see peaceful protest as a “cornerstone” of Canadian democracy.

Elizabeth May ready to go to jail fighting pipeline

The $6.8-billion Kinder Morgan project is expected to yield more protests from indigenous groups and climate change activists who argue the federal government lacks the “social license” to greenlight the project.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May told the Huffington Post Canada she’s willing to be arrested fighting the project.

“If there are blockades as construction begins, I’m more than prepared to be there to block construction and be arrested and go to jail,” May said in an interview last week. “This is not an issue where you compromise.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/12/06/kellie-leitch-pipeline-protesters-lock-up_n_13462212.html?ncid=fcbklnkcahpmg00000001

How A Tiny Campout Grew Into A Global Movement And Why It’s Coming To Canada Next

Tyler Fourth, a Standing Rock Sioux, dances while working a checkpoint at Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball, ND on Friday, September 9, 2016. Fourth is cautiously optimistic about the situation but has no intention of leaving yet, saying "it's not over till it's over."

Tyler Fourth, a Standing Rock Sioux, dances while working a checkpoint at Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball, ND on Friday, September 9, 2016. Fourth is cautiously optimistic about the situation but has no intention of leaving yet, saying “it’s not over till it’s over.”

‘Spirit camps’ the future of anti-pipeline protests

Article by Richard Warnica | The National Post

The caravan rumbled east on a back road in rural North Dakota, pickup trucks and hippie vans inching through the grey-green hills, searching for a passage through the shifting blockade. Overhead, a helicopter circled. Police trucks whipped by on the ground.

na1027_pipeline_protest_c_mf

The Water Protectors of the Oceti Sakowin, Red Warrior and Sacred Stone spirit camps, near Cannon Ball, ND, set out that day to shut down construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, a US$3.8-billion project that aims to connect the Bakken oil fields with a transport hub near Patoka, Illinois. If completed, Dakota Access could handle some 570,000 barrels of oil per day. That’s nearly half of North Dakota’s entire daily production. But though much of the pipe is already in the ground, the project itself—like Keystone XL before it—is in jeopardy.

While the world watches as their movement is live-streamed on social media, indigenous protesters have banded together with major environmental groups like the Sierra Club and 350.org to fight Dakota Access. For now, they’ve battled the pipeline’s owners — including Canada’s Enbridge Inc. — to a standstill. Protesters have confronted construction teams on pipeline sites near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, south of Bismarck. Lawyers for the tribe have tied the project up in litigation and campers are now clashing with police.

On Thursday, police in riot gear used sound cannons, bean bag guns and pepper spray to drive protesters from a camp on private land directly in the pipeline’s path. The hours-long confrontation, watched live on Facebook by tens of thousands of viewers, was the most heated yet of the increasingly prominent occupation. More than 140 people were arrested, according to the Morton County Sheriff’s office. Several cars were set on fire. Despite the setback, the protesters have vowed to carry on. “We won’t step down from this fight,” Dave Archambault II, one of the organizers, said in a statement Thursday night.

Protestors march to a construction site for the Dakota Access Pipeline to express their opposition to the pipeline, at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's to protest against the construction of the new oil pipeline, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016.

Protestors march to a construction site for the Dakota Access Pipeline to express their opposition to the pipeline, at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s to protest against the construction of the new oil pipeline, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016.

The protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline are in many ways an outgrowth of the ones fought against Keystone XL. But they are also something bigger and something new. The camps that have sprung up in the Plains south of Bismarck have drawn what some are calling the largest gathering of Native American tribes in history. Thousands of people, from what organizers say is more than 200 tribes, have come from all over the United States — and some from much further — to join the occupation. Hundreds have vowed not to leave until they win.

One organizer has called this moment the beginning of a new Native Civil Rights Movement. Whatever is happening here, organizers are hoping it will spread. They want Standing Rock to become the new normal on pipeline sites — in the United States, and in Canada too.

The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation begins 40 minutes south of Bismarck in a hilly stretch of the Great Plains where actual tumbleweeds still blow across the roads. The protest camps straddle the reservation’s northern border. Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the three camps, sits in a hollow between two hills on the banks of the Cannonball River. From the highway it appears as if from nowhere—a riot of colour in a sea of yellowing grass.

The camps have drawn as many 8,000 people at a time, according to organizers. But the pipeline protests started modestly. In fact, according to Jonathan Edwards, they all began with a video game.

Edwards lives in McLaughlin, SD, the largest town on the Standing Rock reservation. Last December, he was hanging out with friends, “and we were playing Call of Duty or something, and somebody was scrolling through Facebook and saw a small little article about the (pipeline).”

By that point, plans for Dakota Access were in their final stages and construction was nearly underway. The pipeline is a catch-up of sorts. Oil production in North Dakota has exploded in the last 13 years, from fewer than 30 million barrels a year in 2003 to more than 429 million barrels in 2015. But the infrastructure didn’t keep up. For years, more than half the crude oil leaving North Dakota has moved by rail. Dakota Access, owned by a consortium of energy companies, including Enbridge and Energy Transfer Partners out of Texas, was supposed to solve that problem.

The pipeline company held public hearings in North Dakota starting in May 2015. But Edwards said he had never heard of the project before reading about it last December. He was shocked to discover that if completed the pipeline would cross under Lake Oahe, on the Missouri river, just a few kilometres outside the Standing Rock border. “So we did a little research about it, found out it’s an actual thing, and just basically started organizing a few local people to see what we could possibly do to … defeat it.”

Law enforcement officers line the street in front of the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan, N.D., as Dakota Access Pipeline protesters stand on the opposite side of the street on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

Law enforcement officers line the street in front of the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan, N.D., as Dakota Access Pipeline protesters stand on the opposite side of the street on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

Indigenous opponents of Dakota Access have two broad complaints. One is that the pipeline crosses through traditional tribal territory, home to sacred sites. The other is that, by passing under the Missouri River, the pipeline would put the tribe’s water supply at risk. The protest’s main slogan, whispered among supporters like a benediction, is “Water is life.”

Edwards and his friends were well positioned to make a stink. His uncle Vernon runs the local radio station. His sister Honorata works for the local newspaper. But in the early going, interest was paltry. “Not a lot of people showed up at the local meetings,” he said. That began to change after his sister reached out to Joye Braun, an activist from a nearby reserve who played a significant role in the fight against Keystone XL.

Braun, in her words, “heard the call” from Standing Rock in late January. The grassroots of the tribe, she said, felt they weren’t getting enough information about the project. “So we sold a bunch of cinnamon rolls and got gas money and all headed up here to Standing Rock to see what we could do.”

At a meeting in late February, Braun pitched the idea of a ‘spirit camp’ — a hub for prayer and action that could serve as a focal point for opponents of the pipeline. Ladonna Brave Bull Allard, who now runs the Standing Rock tribal historic preservation office, offered a chunk of land that directly abuts the nearest pipeline site, to the campers. And on April 1, Braun and her cousin Wiyaka Eagleman pitched their tents and the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp was born.

There are several theories on how that tiny campout of two people grew into the large occupation it is today. Ruth Hopkins, a columnist for Indian Country Today, thinks coverage in Native media contributed, as did a series of protest runs—including one from Cannon Ball to Washington D.C.—put on by local youth.

By the summer, several large environmental groups helped “amplify” the message, according to Josh Nelson, campaign manager for Credo Action. The movement gained celebrity support, including from actress Shailene Woodley (who was arrested while protesting in North Dakota in October) and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The camps grew steadily through the summer. The original Sacred Stone Camp on Allard’s land eventually sprouted two shadow camps on land owned by the Army Core of Engineers outside the reservation. But they only truly mushroomed in September. The major reason for that influx, organizers believe, was a violent clash between protesters and private guards that went viral online.

Journalist Amy Goodman, left, speaks with supporters in Mandan, North Dakota before learning the rioting charge filed against her was dismissed by a SouthCentral district judge Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

Journalist Amy Goodman, left, speaks with supporters in Mandan, North Dakota before learning the rioting charge filed against her was dismissed by a SouthCentral district judge Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

On Sept. 3, Ladonna Allard was speaking to a journalist when her phone rang. “Amy Goodman (from Democracy Now) was sitting in the camp interviewing me…when they called me and said ‘Ladonna! The bulldozers are here’,” Allard said. Dakota Access crews were digging up a pipeline site on a ranch just north of the reserve. “I said ‘I’m on my way. And I hung up my phone and Amy said ‘I’m following you.’ ”

Cody Hall, a spokesman for the Red Warrior camp, was also there that day. “We had one of the elder ladies come driving by,” he said. “She saw the bulldozers. She yelled, ‘We need everybody to come out! The bulldozers are on sacred land!’ So, the campers scrambled onto horses and into cars and raced up the highway.”

What happened next was captured on film and posted online from multiple angles, but it remains nonetheless the subject of bitter dispute. Protesters from the camps confronted the workers, first from outside the fence, with shouts like “Criminals!” and “Go get your money somewhere else.” Eventually, they surged through the wire and came face to face with a team of private security guards.

After everything was over that day, the Morton County Sheriff’s office released a statement decrying the protest as an “unlawful … riot.” The sheriff said guards were attacked with wooden posts and flagpoles, and a dog was trampled by a horse. The protesters maintain the guards attacked them, and they were sprayed with some kind of caustic chemical. Hall said dogs bit about 12 people. One worker threw a demonstrator to the ground.

Regardless, the footage — of snarling dogs straining toward men and women with their hands in the air — provided a defining visual for the growing camp. “What I saw was (like) the images of America from the 1950s and 1960s, where they used dogs on black people,” said Hall. “It threw me right back to that time in history.”

Wulff Cole, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde, in Oregon, drove 25 hours to join the camp because of that footage. “When I first heard about that I said, ‘I have to be there or I’ll never forgive myself.’” Organizers say that after the confrontation with the dogs, the camps ballooned in size.

By mid-October, Oceti Sakowin looked like a cross between a summer camp and a music festival. White tipis shared space with green army tents and flags in a cavalcade of shades. There were converted buses, port-a-potties, a legal clinic, horse paddocks and campfires. Near the central hub, heaps of donated clothes sat near stacks of wood and supplies of rice, beans and other staples.

“The first night I was here, I sat at the fire, listened (to the speeches) came back to my tent and I cried all night,” said Lavina Lawrence, who has been living at the camp for more than six weeks. “It’s just…the love of the people, the healing, the energy, is just so strong. It’s overwhelming.”

Organizers of the Standing Rock movement insist the camp and the protests are peaceful. Not everyone agrees. One judge in a civil suit filed by Dakota Access wrote in a recent ruling that “to suggest all of the protest activities to date have been ‘peaceful’ and law-abiding defies common sense and reality.”

In the communities surrounding the camps, meanwhile, there’s a sense of fear. Several people said they were afraid to speak on the record because they feared retaliation from the camps. One woman said her friends were organizing a class on concealed weapons for those intimidated by the protesters. Santana Hettich, who lives nearby, actually spent several weeks at the camp this summer, but she said she wouldn’t go back now. “I supported it…I wanted to stand with them because I’m Native American,” she said. “Now I just think there are too many people there for the wrong reasons.”

Camp organizers blame those fears on local media and local police.

Members of the Pikuni Blackfeet Nation march into Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball, ND

Members of the Pikuni Blackfeet Nation march into Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball, ND

The sheriff’s office did not return a request for comment. But in recent press conferences the sheriff and other county officials have defended their officers as “incredibly professional and unbelievably restrained.”

What is clear is that it wouldn’t take much—from either side—for something truly awful to happen here. The police are heavily armed and overworked; sheriffs have been called in from all over North Dakota, and now eight other states, to bolster the Morton County crew. “I think the whole county is on edge,” said Jeremy Stenerson, who lives in nearby Flasher. “Emotions are escalating and I think that just increases the chances of an accidental trigger pull or some silly accident that sets it all off.”

Last Saturday, protesters slipped from the camps, up the highway and into the fields where the pipeline will go. They popped the tires on a pickup truck then used bike locks and chains to attach themselves to the vehicle, hoping to block the construction path. A few hours later, hundreds more demonstrators marched up the highway and into the fields where they met a line of officers armed with pepper spray and other weapons.

Marching with the protesters that day was Kabale Niquay, a member of the Atikamekw Nation in Quebec. Niquay drove down to Standing Rock from Manawan, northwest of Quebec City, in mid-September. His Facebook page is full now of photos from inside the camps and at the demonstrations. In one, he poses in a camouflage jacket, a bandana pulled over his face. “A good day,” he wrote in French, “to go the front.”

Niquay said he came to support this protest in solidarity with the local Dakota and Lakota people. “All nations are rising up,” he said. But he’s also hoping to drum up support for a spirit camp of his own next summer, in Quebec, in opposition to the Energy East pipeline.

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Riders of all ages gather on the hilltop at Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball

Riders of all ages gather on the hilltop at Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball

Niquay isn’t the only Canadian to have joined the Standing Rock protests. Cars with Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta plates are littered throughout the Oceti Sakowin camp. Others, meanwhile, have noticed from afar. Jonathan Edwards spoke recently with a First Nations group in British Columbia. They were looking for advice, he said, on setting up their own anti-pipeline camps.

Edwards hopes this does launch something larger, all across North America. But he hasn’t lost site of his original goal. “I know what my role is here, which is to do whatever I have to do to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

Vicky Granado, a spokeswoman for Energy Transfer Partners, said the plan is still to have the pipeline ready for service by the end of this year. Meanwhile, the company has always maintained that it did everything right here. Dakota Access obtained all necessary easements and rights of way, its lawyers wrote in one court filing, it obtained all federal, state and local permits to cross the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, and it conducted extensive consultations with affected tribes.

Despite that, the federal government still ordered a temporary halt to pipeline construction within two miles of Lake Oahe in September. That moratorium remains in place, for now.

As for the campers, some have vowed to stay through the winter, if necessary. Last Saturday, police arrested more than 120 protesters after a day of heated clashes that saw several people pepper sprayed. The next morning, the campers pushed out again, moving out in the pink dawn to set up a new camp on private land, directly in the pipeline’s path.

The company vowed in a statement that trespassers who refused to leave would be removed — and on Thursday they made good on their promise.

The protesters are unbowed. “I don’t think they really understood who the people are descended from who they’re trying to lay this pipeline through,” said Edwards. “I mean my mother’s last name was Shoots The Enemy. She’s deceased now. But I don’t think she got that name weaving baskets.”

The original version of this article titled This is the future of pipeline protests: How a tiny campout grew into a global movement and why it’s coming to Canada next, by Richard Warnica was published in The National Post on October 26, 2016, [READ HERE] 

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First Nations Predict “Hordes” Will Disrupt Parliament Hill If Pipelines Approved

Katzie First Nation Chief Susan Miller (left) and her sister, Debbie Miller, stand with protesters outside the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain hearings in Burnaby, B.C. on Wed. Jan. 20, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

Katzie First Nation Chief Susan Miller (left) and her sister, Debbie Miller, stand with protesters outside the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain hearings in Burnaby, B.C. on Wed. Jan. 20, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

First Nations in opposition of Trudeau government’s approval of pipelines

By Elizabeth McSheffrey | National Observer

First Nations chiefs across Canada haven’t discussed the details of the plan yet, but they aren’t ruling anything out if the Trudeau government approves the construction of a major pipeline project that crosses their territory without their consent. Several are still waiting on the results of court cases before they make their move, and others are already preparing for the worst.

“You may see hordes descending upon Parliament Hill,” said Chief Susan Miller, of the Katzie First Nation in B.C. “We have had some discussion around what civil action would look like, and I think the more we work together, that’s what brings out the hordes. It’s an impressive sight, to see thousands of people coming out for a common cause.”

Last year, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau campaigned on a promise to renew nation-to-nation relations with Indigenous communities, and has repeatedly told Canadians since then that “governments grant permits, communities grant permission.” And after the historic signing of a pan-continental Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, Indigenous leaders have renewed their resolve to hold him to those promises with all resources available to them.

“In that crowd, you’re not just going to see First Nations people, you’re going to see your neighbour next door who doesn’t support this either,” Chief Miller, whose community is fighting Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion pipeline, told National Observer.

“We’re just the vessel to push that all through, and I think when the numbers speak like that, the government can’t continue to disregard [us].”

Tsleil-Waututh spokesperson Rueben George, Coun. Charlene Aleck, and manager of cultural relations Gabriel George open the signing ceremony for the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion in Vancouver, B.C. on Thurs. Sept. 22, 2016

Tsleil-Waututh spokesperson Rueben George, Coun. Charlene Aleck, and manager of cultural relations Gabriel George open the signing ceremony for the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion in Vancouver, B.C. on Thurs. Sept. 22, 2016

Youth action in Ottawa in October

Nearly 90 Indigenous leaders in Canada and the U.S. have already signed the Treaty Alliance, which aims not only to protect their territories from pipeline, tanker, and rail projects, but to move society towards cleaner, leaner, living as well. Major proposals they take issue with include Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion (from Alberta to B.C.), TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline (from Alberta to New Brunswick), and Enbridge Northern Gateway (from Alberta to B.C.)

But the presence of non-Indigenous allies, including a number of environmental organizations, at its signing ceremonies in Montreal and Vancouver, add weight to Chief Miller’s claim: Indigenous activists in North America are not alone.

“We strive to act in solidarity with Indigenous folks,” said Gabriel D’Astous, a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia and pipeline protest organizer for Climate 101. “They’ve been on the front lines and blocking tar sands projects that threaten the earth and water, and have been defending their rights and lands for years and decades now.”

D’Astous and his team are organizing a youth rally in Ottawa on Oct. 24 to urge the Trudeau government to reject the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion, which has been opposed by at least 21 municipalities and 17 First Nations in Western Canada. He said he, and many of the other protesters, are willing to be arrested in what he hopes will be the largest youth civil disobedience action of its kind in Canada.

Youth have been a powerful force in pipeline protests across the country, including this demonstration against the Trans Mountain expansion in Vancouver, B.C. on Aug. 17, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

Youth have been a powerful force in pipeline protests across the country, including this demonstration against the Trans Mountain expansion in Vancouver, B.C. on Aug. 17, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

Preparing for pipeline protests

While First Nations, environmentalists and other key stakeholders across North America argue that oilsands expansion increases the risk of catastrophic oil spills, threatens critical marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and pushes international climate targets out of reach, energy companies argue that they will revitalize struggling Canadian economies by bringing energy to overseas markets. Industry also argues that they are using state-of-the-art technology that promotes responsible development of resources such as the vast oilsands deposits in Alberta – considered to be the world’s third largest reserve of crude oil after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

All of the major pipeline companies say they are also trying to work collaboratively with First Nations. For example, Kinder Morgan says it has signed more than 20 “mutual benefit agreements” with Indigenous communities along the route of its Trans Mountain corridor. These would be confidential agreements that could include education and training for pipeline construction jobs as well as improvements to community services, infrastructure and other benefits.

Greenpeace — one of the loudest environmental organizations speaking out against pipelines — doesn’t buy industry’s logic. Since the start of the year, it has trained 800 protesters across Canada with new skills in non-violent action, civil disobedience, and media communications during 40 training sessions conducted in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Nunavut, and Quebec.

Calls requesting the training sessions peaked after the National Energy Board (NEB) conditionally recommended the Trans Mountain expansion in May, said trainer and organizer Earyn Wheatley, and have been steady since the conflict of interest scandal involving former Quebec premier Jean Charest, TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline, and the NEB was brought to light over the summer.

“I think there could be unprecedented mobilization and action in opposition to these pipelines if the projects go forward in the way that they have been,” the Greenpeace staffer explained. “That’s definitely a core interest of people who are coming to participate in these trainings — they’re very concerned about those pipelines, and many are saying that the NEB process has been very problematic.”

The organization plans to hold 15 more protest training sessions before the end of the year, with those in Quebec targeting Energy East, and those in B.C. targeting the Trans Mountain expansion, which is due for a decision from the federal government on Dec. 19. Teagan Stacey, a graduate of these trainings, has even started her own non-violent ‘kayaktivist’ group called the BC Seawolves, which will stand in solidarity against Trans Mountain with Greenpeace and First Nations.

“We’re showing the government that we’re not going to let this go through, and if they think they can push it through where members of this oppose it, we’re going to make sure it’s stopped,” she told National Observer. “We recognize this has huge implications for the rest of our country, and the rest of the world through tar sands expansion. All of that we bring with us out in the water.”

Kayaktivists target the Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby, B.C. during a protests against the company's Trans Mountain expansion on Sat. May 14, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

Kayaktivists target the Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby, B.C. during a protests against the company’s Trans Mountain expansion on Sat. May 14, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

First Nations happy to have cross-Canada allies

While not all Indigenous nations in Canada are opposed to oilsands expansions, and some have signed on in support of pipelines crossing their territories, those who oppose the energy projects are happy to have allies across the country. They’re also happy to serve as allies to others, said Tsleil-Waututh First Nation spokesperson Rueben George, who recently visited the Standing Rock Sioux fighting the Dakota access pipeline in North Dakota.

He said their movement, which has recently prompted a halt in construction of the controversial pipeline, has been guided by their elders, cultural, and spiritual values, and the movement in Canada will be too.

“I know [our] elders, community and leadership have been doing the same thing,” he told National Observer. “Campaign promises were made to boost not only the health of First Nations and nation-to-nation negotiation, but economics as well. Doors are opening for that. I’m excited about that.”

Chief Terry Teegee of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council in Prince George, B.C., who met George at the Treaty Alliance signing in Vancouver on Thursday, said he too, is excited about the shifting relationship between First Nations, governments, and the rest of Canada. What’s happening in North Dakota at the Standing Rock Sioux camp will most certainly be replicated across the provinces, he explained, “if it comes to that.”

“I think [pipeline approval] will be for I believe, many First Nations, a tipping point of our relations with government and corporations where we’ll have to stand up for what we feel is right, and protect our rights and title, and Mother Earth,” he said at the signing. “We very much appreciate the outside help. It feels great knowing we have allies out there.”

This article was originally published by September 27th 2016

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/09/27/news/first-nations-predict-hordes-will-disrupt-parliament-hill-if-pipelines-approved


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US, Canada Native Groups To Join Dakota Access Pipeline Fight

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip signs the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion with other First Nations leaders during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip signs the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion with other First Nations leaders during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

Indigenous tribes form Alliance to stop oil pipelines

By Rod Nickel (Reuters) Sept 23, 2016

Winnipeg, Manitoba – A coalition of 75 U.S. and Canadian native groups that opposes expansion of North American oil production will join a U.S. tribe’s fight against the Dakota Access pipeline if tensions escalate, a regional Canadian chief said on Friday.

The Standing Rock Sioux oppose the 1,100-mile (1,886-km) pipeline being developed by Energy Transfer Partners LP, which they say threatens water supply and sacred sites.

An encampment in North Dakota against the $3.7 billion Dakota Access pipeline represents the largest Native American protest in decades and included one violent confrontation this month between protesters and security guards.

Proposed route for the Dakota Access Pipeline

Proposed route for the Dakota Access Pipeline

“I can tell you with great certainty that in the event there’s an escalation of aggression on the part of the state or [U.S.] federal government, there will certainly be a response on the Canadian side from indigenous peoples,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs said in a phone interview from Vancouver.

Phillip compared the potential for escalation in North Dakota to the 1990 Oka crisis, a land dispute between a Quebec town and a group of Mohawks that turned violent.

Indigenous supporters from Canada are already bringing supplies and financial donations to Standing Rock Sioux, which Phillip said he recently visited.

A First Nations signs the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion with other First Nations leaders during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

A First Nations signs the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion with other First Nations leaders during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, made up of North American native groups that signed the treaty on Thursday, also opposes tanker and rail projects over environmental concerns.

Treaty Alliance is “absolutely” willing to illegally block construction of any pipeline proposals that proceed, including TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East pipeline across much of Canada and Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Western Canada, he said.

There are no conditions under which the group would support a pipeline, Phillip said.

Chief Na'moks (John Ridsdale) of the Wet'suwet'en Nation listens to a speech during the signing of the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

Chief Na’moks (John Ridsdale) of the Wet’suwet’en Nation listens to a speech during the signing of the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion during an announcement on oil sands pipelines, with special relevance for the Kinder Morgan and Northern Gateway proposals, at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

Canada is assessing pipeline proposals as the country’s energy-rich province Alberta reels from a crash in prices, partly due to insufficient means of moving oil to lucrative international markets.

In Canada, native groups are divided over pipelines, with some opposing them while others, who are producers themselves, want the energy industry to develop, said Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, which takes no position.

SEE THE TREATY: HERE

[SOURCE]

Boss Of Pipeline Regulator Joked About Giving NEB Staff Tasers After Montreal Protest

Alyssa Symons-Bélanger is detained by police following protest at National Energy Board hearings on the Energy East pipeline in Montreal on Aug. 29, 2016. Photo by The Canadian Press.

Alyssa Symons-Bélanger is detained by police following protest at National Energy Board hearings on the Energy East pipeline in Montreal on Aug. 29, 2016. Photo by The Canadian Press.

Sept 15th 2016

A lone protester ran in circles, grabbing a government binder full of documents and waving it in the air as private security guards quickly surrounded the 34-year-old man and violently tried to restrain him.

That was the scene in Montreal a few weeks ago when Canada’s National Energy Board attempted, but failed, to hold public hearings on the Energy East pipeline, proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp.

The NEB suspended the day’s hearings blaming protesters for initiating violence as the regulator struggled to cope with conflict of interest allegations that would later force recusals of its highest-ranking officials, including chief executive Peter Watson. The proceedings have been adjourned until replacements can be found.

The security breakdown appears to have annoyed senior management to the point that its top bureaucrat joked at a staff meeting that the regulator’s employees should be armed with tasers at public hearings.

NEB says Taser joke taken out of context

The NEB said the joke, by chief operating officer Josée Touchette, has been taken out of context by some of its employees and that she actually was trying “to diminish stressors and invite continuous dialogue.” But her ill-timed attempt at humour is likely to add some fresh ammunition for critics who believe the National Energy Board is too cozy with industry and in need of a complete overhaul.

The NEB has not clarified why security arrangements were so minimal and left in the hands of private security guards ahead of such a highly contentious hearing in a city known for public protest. National Observer has learned that Montreal police cancelled a contract to provide security for the NEB on a Friday, leaving only the weekend before the hearings started. Both the NEB and Montreal police said this was a normal decision, based on their evolving assessment of security.

But that decision left the first response in the hands of the private security who initiated the violent encounter.

National Energy Board, Montreal protest

Three NEB members, Lyne Mercier, Roland George and Jacques Gauthier, stand up as a protester known as “P-O” runs to the front of the room at the start of pipeline hearings in Montreal on Aug. 29, 2016. Screenshot from TVA.

The Montreal protest, triggered by allegations of conflict of interest uncovered in July and August by National Observer, would eventually force a three-member panel presiding over the hearings to adjourn and step aside in the face of a public outcry including criticism from cities, First Nations leaders and environmental groups across the country. Many of these stakeholders have called for a brand new review starting from square one, alleging bias in the panelists’ decision to accept the application from TransCanada as complete, despite missing information about dangerous water crossings along the proposed route, including the Ottawa and Saint-Lawrence Rivers.

Opponents of TransCanada’s Energy East project argue the project is too risky and will push Canada’s climate change goals out of reach. It is the largest pipeline ever proposed in Canada, 4,500 kilometre long with the capacity to carry up to 1.1 million barrels of oil per day between Alberta and New Brunswick.

Supporters, including many business and union leaders say the pipeline would create thousands of construction jobs and boost the Canadian economy.

P-O is detained by Montreal police following protest at National Energy Board hearings on the Energy East pipeline in Montreal on Aug. 29, 2016. Photo by AJ Korkidakis.

The running man who initiated the kerfuffle at the hearings remains mysterious. He has not been formally arraigned and his identity has not been released. He is known only as “P-O” (for Pierre-Olivier or Paul-Olivier) and his actions surprised other activists in the room. A few of them told National Observer they spontaneously decided to support the running man by chanting and clapping until the National Energy Board shut down the Montreal hearings on Aug. 29.

“It wasn’t really organized,” said Mikael Rioux, 40, a Montreal-based activist from Greenpeace, who was among three people detained by police, but not charged. “I was there early in the morning to organize the demonstration outside. When it finished, I told people (the pipeline panel session) was public and we had a right to be inside.”

So Rioux said he went up a few floors. He took the escalators and entered the room to find a group of people, including P-O, holding a banner in the front of the room when he arrived. No security guard tried to stop him from entering as the boisterous crowd chanted criticism of Calgary-based TransCanada and its regulator, the NEB, which is also based in Calgary.

“I stayed in the back and clapped and was yelling the same chants,” Rioux said.

Protesters featured in pipeline documentary

Rioux and his partner, Alyssa Symons-Bélanger, are no strangers to action against fossil fuel development. Both were recently involved in protests against Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline reversal project. Symons-Bélanger was part of civil disobedience action, chaining herself to a fence outside Suncor’s Montreal oil refinery, with two others in 2014. Rioux and Symons-Bélanger were also both featured in a recent documentary, called Pipelines, Power and Democracy.

Their spontaneous chanting during the Energy East hearings ended after Montreal police stormed the room, forcibly, detaining Rioux, Symons-Bélanger and the running man.

The NEB, which was ultimately responsible for the behaviour of the security guards, blamed protesters for provoking the violence.

According to sources who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals, Josée Touchette, the NEB chief operating officer, held a staff meeting following the failed hearing and made the jokes about arming staff with tasers. The NEB told National Observer in a statement that Touchette was not trying to make light of the situation and denied that she did anything wrong.

“It is regrettable that Ms. Touchette’s words are being grossly taken out of context by your sources,” said NEB spokesman Craig Loewen.

“A staff meeting was called within a day of the violent events in Montreal, the purpose of which was to assure staff that senior management takes security very seriously and to take questions from staff in that regard.”

Loewen said that Touchette’s comments came at the end of the meeting as she recounted a chat she had just had with a Board member who observed, “how Canadian it was for the protestor to give back a binder of NEB materials to a staff member while he was resisting security.”

Footage shows security guards initiated violence

Footage captured by television networks show that private security guards, hired by the NEB, initiated the violent encounter with P-O, after he ran up to the table where the three panelists, Roland George, Lyne Mercier and Jacques Gauthier, were sitting. All three later recused themselves from sitting on the panel due to the conflict of interest allegations. The footage also shows P-O politely nodding to the NEB employee as he returned the binder.

“Ms. Touchette did say in jest, at that point only, that this staff member shouldn’t try to wrestle materials out of protestors’ hands lest she was equipped with something like a Taser. At no point did Ms. Touchette imply that hearing staff should be armed in any way.”

“This comment was in no way an attempt to diminish the situation staff faced in Montreal. It was an attempt to close the staff meeting on a lighter note to diminish stressors and invite continuous dialogue. Any suggest(ion) to the contrary is misreading the intent of the comments.”

National Energy Board, Montreal protest
National Energy Board, Montreal protest
National Energy Board, Montreal protest

A protester, known as P-O, grabs a government binder, but then returns it after being asked by an NEB employee in Montreal on Aug. 29, 2016. Screenshots from TVA.

The television footage also shows an NEB employee gesturing for the private security guards to stop manhandling the running man.

Symons-Bélanger, a 27-year old from Trois-Pistoles in Eastern Quebec, argues that all of the problems have been provoked by the NEB and energy companies that are seeking to radically expand Canada’s oil and gas industry.

“It’s easy to qualify something as violence for someone who is running in the room,” said Symons-Bélanger in an interview.

“Whenever we disrupt the image of what’s acceptable, it’s easy to label it as violence. But the violence comes from these institutions and these multinational companies.”

National Energy Board, Montreal protest

An NEB employee gestures for private security, hired by the regulator, to stop manhandling a protester at Montreal hearings for Energy East on Aug. 29, 2016. Screenshot from TVA.

Symons-Bélanger said she tried to free herself after one of the police officers aggressively grabbed her arm. Rioux also said that he doesn’t know why police detained him and that they initially failed to read him his rights or inform him how he broke the law.

P-O declined a request for an interview from National Observer.

Montreal police say the three were detained and will face a range of charges related to assault and resisting arrest. But none of the three were immediately arraigned for any formal criminal charges related to the protest.

No other protesters were arrested and Rioux questioned whether police had targeted him and Symons-Bélanger through profiling because of their previous activism.

“When they told everyone to leave, I started to move out and a police officer grabbed me by the arm. I (saw) that he was arresting (Symons-Bélanger) and she was yelling that he was hurting her.”

Montreal police said the three that they detained, P-O, Rioux and Symons-Bélanger, were warned to clear the room before police came in and that’s why they were arrested.

Police also said that the local security had the right to use “reasonable force” to ensure security for participants and members of the public that attended the hearings.

“The three people who were arrested were warned to leave the room, but not by the police. The ‘owners’ of the area asked the people to leave,” Montreal police spokeswoman Mélanie Lajoie toldNational Observer. “The people were therefore warned, a notice was read to them, telling them to leave (and) the police were then called to assist with those responsible (for the room.)”

Kristian Gareau, 36, a Montreal resident who joined in the protest inside the hearings room, believes the security response reflects a colonial attitude from government and industry and their sense of entitlement.

“It’s about this insidious culture of violence that’s very subtle,” said Gareau, a masters student studying the environmental politics of pipeline debates in Canada. “So it’s not really that surprising to me that the very same culture that propagates this form of petroleum violence is also accusing protesters — who are peacefully standing up for the rights of mother earth and its peoples — of violence. I think it’s really quite shameful.”

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/09/15/news/boss-pipeline-regulator-joked-about-giving-neb-staff-tasers-after-montreal-protest

First Nations Interrupt Pipeline Consultation

Indigenous protesters shut down a public consultation over the Energy East pipeline at a downtown Montreal office building, on Wednesday Sept. 23, 2015. COURTESY OF SUBMEDIA.TV

Indigenous protesters shut down a public consultation over the Energy East pipeline at a downtown Montreal office building, on Wednesday Sept. 23, 2015. COURTESY OF SUBMEDIA.TV

Montreal Gazette

Police were called to a downtown Montreal office building Wednesday after indigenous protesters shut down a public consultation over the Energy East pipeline.

Amanda Lickers says she was accompanied by about 25 people when she entered the meeting and interrupted proceedings.

“We told them that a pipeline will not pass through unceded (Mohawk) territory,” said Lickers, whose family is from Six Nations of the Grand River, in Ontario. “This project is in violation of our Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) principals and it violates a law that predates the colonial occupation of Canada.”

Though there are First Nations who support the $12 billion, 4,600 kilometre pipeline, a grassroots, indigenous resistance movement is gaining momentum across Canada. The project is set to pass through over 150 traditional aboriginal territories and TransCanada and some chiefs—like Kanesatake’s Serge Simon—say they’re prepared to set up blockades in its path.

In the meantime, the National Energy Board, which regulates Canada’s pipelines, is in the early stages of the public consultation process over the project. Wednesday’s meeting was hosted by the NEB and Montreal’s environmental assessment board at the Centre Mount Royal on Mansfield St.

The consultation meeting’s goal was to get citizens’ input for a report that would be presented before the NEB’s Energy East hearings next year. But many, including Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, question the objectivity of the NEB given that at least half of its board members were once employed by the energy sector.

Lickers said that while the interruption was peaceful, it managed to end the consultation and the few participants who didn’t walk out of the building joined the protesters in chanting, “No consent, no pipelines,” as they exited the room. She says there was about 50 people at the meeting.

No arrests were made and consultation meetings are set to continue next week in Laval. Things may not be easier there given that mayor Marc Demers denounced the pipeline just two weeks ago.

Demers cited environmental concerns for his opposition to the project, inviting other municipalities to join suit.

http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/first-nations-interrupt-pipeline-consultation