The truth behind Line 9 in Downsview

Line 9 is part of the controversial Energy East Pipeline and runs from Sarnia to Montreal.

Entering Downsview from a point near Eglinton and Hwy 427, Line 9 runs north-east to north of Hwy 400 and Finch Ave. Then it runs east through metro.

Line 9 is a quarter inch thick steel pipe over 40 years old, originally built for natural gas. It carries a toxic carcinogenic, corrosive and explosive mix of crude oil, imported diluents and benzene. The newly revised “Line Rules and Regulations Tariff” passed and will also allow transportation of a substance known as “dilbit.” Unprocessed, bitumen is a solid and cannot flow in pipelines, bitumen will be mixed with another fossil fuel product called “diluent” -which is imported into Canada. This mix is what makes dilbit and is toxic to the human central nervous system.

In 2015, while government representatives at the critical Paris Climate Conference were all declaring their support for ending fossil fuel usage to save our planet, Canada through Energy East’s Line 9 began adding 32 million tons of CO2 per year to the atmosphere.

Enbridge cite studies tells us Line 9 is safe from corrosive elements. Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, found that between 2007 and 2010 pipelines carrying dilbit had a spill-rate three times higher than pipelines carrying conventional crude.

Oil sand products have a higher sulfur and a higher acidic content than conventional crude oil and those properties could explain its increased corrosive nature. According to CTV’s W5, there have been at least 35 spills associated with the pipeline. Some of these haven’t even been reported to the communities they affect and parts of Line 9 have been exempted from the hydrostatic testing required in other sections.

What would a spill near Lake Ontario mean for the water supply of millions of people? What are the risks for York University students and Downsview residents living right on top of the pipe?

“Social licence is more important than ever. Government may be able to issue permits. But only communities can grant permission,” said Justin Trudeau on pipelines and energy projects. That’s strange…I do not recall anyone asking us for pipeline permission.

As part of Toronto’s 2014 submission to the National Energy Board, an excerpt from the Supreme Court of Canada stated that “municipalities are trustees of the environment”, and that as the level of government “being closest to the people, should be empowered to exceed, not lower, the national norms”. This was part of a precedent-setting 2001 decision in favour of municipalities’ taking control of their cities.

Torontonians are being forced to risk their safety in order to support out of province jobs in a fading planet killing fossil fuel era. As Stanford’s professor Mark Z. Jacobson tells us: renewable energy can completely replace fossil fuels and their CO2. Only the politics of entrenched interests is in the way.
Canada could commit to becoming a leader in clean energy and be a part of a Green Marshall Plan currently being advocated for the planet.

There is no amount of regulation, legislation or consultation that will 100% guarantee a pipeline disaster just won’t happen.

Call your Mayor, your city council member and your MP. Stop Line 9!

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