Proroguing democracy in favour of pipelines   Leave a comment

By: Clayton Ruby: Published in the Toronto Star on Sunday,  August 18, 2013

Perhaps you’ve never heard of Line 9B. A lot of very rich, mostly foreign or internationally owned interests prefer it that way.

It’s a pipeline. Enbridge’s Line 9B currently transports crude oil originating from the North Sea and elsewhere in an east-to-west direction. Enbridge has applied to reverse the pipeline’s flow west-to-east to ship heavy crude oil and bitumen from the tarsands in Alberta to eastern Canadian markets and beyond. Enbridge is also asking to increase the capacity of Line 9 to 300,000 barrels per day from 240,000 because current infrastructure is operating near capacity.

The rupture of an Enbridge pipeline near the Kalamazoo River in Michigan spilled more than 800,000 gallons of crude oil in July 2010. Canadians are worried they have no say in the decision to reverse Enbridge's Line 9B through southern Ontario.

PAUL SANCYA / AP

The rupture of an Enbridge pipeline near the Kalamazoo River in Michigan spilled more than 800,000 gallons of crude oil in July 2010. Canadians are worried they have no say in the decision to reverse Enbridge’s Line 9B through southern Ontario.

Large-capacity pipelines are the primary enablers of tarsands growth. The oilsands produce about 1.8 million barrels of oil per day, but the federal and Alberta governments have approved a production increase up to 5.2 million barrels per day. Shouldn’t all Canadians have a voice in whether or under what conditions some of those barrels will be flowing through Toronto and southern Ontario?

To read Clayton Ruby’s articulate column on how democratic input from citizens is being denied, go to: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/08/18/harper_government_unfairly_limits_public_input_on_enbridge_pipeline.html

Clayton Ruby is a prominent civil rights lawyer and chair of ForestEthics Advocacy Association.

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