As resistance continues to grow over Keystone XL and tar sands expansion, a report from Ecology Ottawa and the Nobel Women’s Initiative, is sharing the voices of mounting opposition to the proposed Energy East Pipeline.
TransCanada announced that a current natural gas pipeline would be converted to carry tar sands oil through Ottawa on its way east. Consultation and events held with women activists in the area, quickly revealed widespread opposition to the pipeline. Among the many concerns, was a firm belief that pipeline safety could not be guaranteed and risk of spill was significantly high. TransCanada’s proposed commitment to pipeline safety did not nurture confidence among Ottawa women.
Women activists specifically identified contamination of the Rideau River, Ottawa’s main water supply and the Rideau Canal, a popular tourist site, as chief areas of concern in the case of a spill or other long-term forms of environmental damage.
Laureate Jody Williams, leader of the Nobel Women’s Initiative Breaking Ground delegation, also shared hundreds of women’s stories opposing tar sands expansions, from communities in British Columbia and Alberta. Collectively, Ottawa women and women throughout Canada are seriously concerned about how pipeline expansion will rapidly increase climate change.
Activists have also expressed concern over the current Canadian federal processes which have slowed and silenced dissenting voices in filing official complaints about proposed pipelines. While the National Energy Board has adopted this policy, a more inclusive approach has been taken by the Ontario Energy Board. The OEB is accepting public feedback and comments, which will later be publicly available. The deadline for submissions has recently been extended to May 15.
Read Women Speaking Out Against Energy East in full