It seems like 2016 will be a year where we will see a new process in place for evaluating pipeline projects in Canada. Prime Minister Trudeau and his government have promised to overhaul the National Energy Board (NEB) and establish new rules — with a process that include an assessment of climate impacts of pipelines, meaningfully listens to the voices of communities, especially First Nations and respects their rights.
But so far, the new federal government is set to break this promise. While the Prime Minister has said he wants to rebuild trust with the public, his government is letting the existing broken reviews of Kinder Morgan and Energy East move forward without any changes, and these tar sands projects are still being assessed under Stephen Harper’s rules that they campaigned against.
In order to hold the government accountable to their promise, we are calling on them to suspend or cancel ongoing reviews, and are enforcing “People’s Injunction” — over 2,000 people have pledged to take action if the Kinder Morgan and Energy East reviews are not halted by January 15th.
Here are 5 exciting things that we can expect:
- Delivering People’s Injunctions
Ottawa residents visited Catherine McKenna’s office to deliver a People’s Injunction on January 14th, warning the Environment and Climate Change Minister office that actions would begin as the Kinder Morgan hearings start next week, and calling on her government to uphold their promise on establishing a pipeline review process that is in line with their climate policy.Further north along the route of Energy East in Ontario, local organizers in Thunder Bay are also planning to deliver a People’s Injunction to their MP on January 15th.
- Public events & Water samples
In Waterloo, Divest Waterloo is partnering with Chippewas Solidarity, Transition KW to host an awareness evening: an outdoors skating party followed by a local film screening. They will also be delivering water samples from the Grand River threatened by tar sands pipelines to their MP and calling on the federal government to halt the pipeline reviews until the meaningful consultation with First Nations they promised is in place with a new process that listens to First Nations communities and respects their rights and takes into account climate impacts. Join them on January 24th at the Waterloo Public Square.
- Creative visits to MPs offices
In Winnipeg, the government’s new Natural Resource Minister, Jim Carr, has been facing questions from his constituents this week about upholding the promise of overhauling pipeline reviews. In his Cabinet mandate letter, Carr is tasked with “modernizing the NEB” and has indicated a “transition phase” is coming, yet the new rules will not be ready by the time the hearings start again on Kinder Morgan on January 19th and there has been no indication that ongoing broken reviews will be suspended.
Join Winnipegers on January 22nd to creatively ask Jim Carr if he will decide to side with people or the fossil fuel industry, and be “a climate hero or a carbon vilain.”
- Visual actions along the Energy East pipeline
In Saskatchewan, people are gearing up to make their opposition heard along the Energy East pipeline route. There are gatherings planned in Saskatoon, Regina, and Moose Jaw. On January 15th, join Climate Justice Saskatoon at the Friendship Park or take part in an online action coordinated by @CJSaskatoon, tweeting with #PeoplesInjunction and #PeopleontheLine.
- Marching onto Kinder Morgan hearings
The Kinder Morgan pipeline has been rejected by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, the City of Burnaby, the province of BC, and numerous other First Nations and community and climate groups. Burnaby residents and local allies are ready again to make their opposition known.On January 19, join them at Jim Lorimier Park to march onto the hearings. There is also a rally planned on January 23rd, at the end of the first week of hearings, and ongoing local actions.
It will be up to all of us standing up in our communities to make sure the new government delivers on its promises. To learn more about the People’s Injunction and organize your own creative actions, visit the website, where you can download organizing, visual and media tools at http://peoplesinjunction.org.