LINE 3: Peaceful Protest Prayer Camp in Treaty 1

LINE 3: Peaceful Protest Prayer Camp in Treaty 1

Postby Oscar » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:20 am

Spirit of the Buffalo – Peaceful Land Defence Against the Line 3 Pipeline

[ ]


This morning, Indigenous resistance to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline expansion set up a prayer camp in Treaty 1 territory near Gretna, Manitoba, meters away from the Canadian/United States border. Spirit of the Buffalo Camp was established by lighting a sacred fire and conducting a sunrise ceremony, and is situated along the route for the Line 3 pipeline. Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline “replacement” project is the corporation’s largest project in history. Enbridge is marketing the project as a necessary “replacement” of an older pipeline, but the new pipeline will be nearly double the current capacity, making this project a significant expansion. Enbridge also plans to leave most of the older pipeline to decay in the ground.

Spirit of the Buffalo camp demands that Enbridge stop building the pipeline because it does not have free, prior and informed consent of all Indigenous peoples along the route, and is a direct violation of the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples Rights. The camp also demands that Enbridge remove the current Line 3 pipeline instead of leaving it to decay in the ground.

The camp also calls for an end to tar sands expansion and infrastructure that will lock humanity into future carbon emissions the planet cannot afford in the face of climate change.

This land defense effort joins several other Indigenous-led camps across the colonial border in Minnesota along the Line 3 route, such as the Turtle Island camp, and Honor the Earth – the latter being led by renowned Anishnaabeg land defender, author, and speaker, Winona LaDuke.

The camp stands in solidarity with White Earth, Winona LaDuke’s home reserve, where Line 3 threatens the rice fields that are unique in the world and that have sustained the community for thousands of years.

“We have to have faith that as human beings we can - and will - do the right thing” says Geraldine McManus, the Dakota two-spirit organizer who lit the sacred fire at the Spirit of the Buffalo camp this morning. McManus was also one of the many organizers at Standing Rock. “Everyone is welcome to join if they come in a good way. If you cannot be here in person, support us in prayer.”

Working in solidarity with the Indigenous-led camp are Manitobans from different backgrounds, such allies from nearby Mennonite communities and the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition.


Geraldine McManus, 204.583.0381 Laura Cameron, 204.998.8587


In 2016, despite his promises to the contrary, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Program. In late June of this year, Minnesota regulators approved Enbridge’s Line 3, amidst widespread opposition from Indigenous nations, climate activists, and community members across the state. With this decision, it is once again clear that we cannot rely on colonial governments and regulators to make the right choices when it comes to protecting our rights to safe water, land, and climate. It is up to us to stand up to governments and corporations in defense of these rights, in solidarity with those on the frontlines of this project.

Line 3 is a new oil pipeline — with a predicted price tag of $8.2 billion — set to be built along the route of a smaller, existing pipeline operated by the Calgary-based oil and gas giant Enbridge. It runs from the Alberta oil sands, across the prairies and through southern Manitoba, ending at the shores of Lake Superior in northwestern Wisconsin. The new pipeline has been billed as a replacement for the existing, aging infrastructure, but in reality is a massive expansion that will nearly double the capacity from what Enbridge says is a low of 390,000 barrels of crude oil per day to 760,000 barrels a day.

This pipeline means expansion of the tar sands. Full stop. It locks us into use of fossil fuels for 50+ years. It threatens our climate, water, land, and communities. It violates Indigenous rights, and is widely opposed by many Nations along the route.

It is clear that our governments have taken the side of industry, prioritizing pipeline profits over people. We must not take their approvals as a final answer. We must demand a rapid transition off of fossil fuels. It is not only the safety and well-being of us as individuals, but the health of the planet and the lives of future generations that are at stake.

Now frontline land defenders are leading the way to defend their ancestral lands and waters, in peaceful resistance to this project. They are calling on all people on Treaty 1 territory and across this country, to take action by joining the resistance, donating, sharing the message, and supporting their efforts in whatever way possible. Come protect with us in prayer on the Line.
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Re: LINE 3: Peaceful Protest Prayer Camp in Treaty 1

Postby Oscar » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:48 am

The Pipes are Stacking Up

[ ... acking_up3 ]

by Laura Cameron Laura Cameron | February 06, 2018

This article was originally published in the Red River Valley Echo newspaper.

There’s no doubt about it, energy is at the center of our society - from powering the production of the food we eat, to heating our houses and fueling our cars. There’s no denying that the oil and gas sector currently plays a central role in our national economy. At the same time, our reliance on oil and gas presents many challenges for our communities and our environments. Faced with these challenges, societies here in Canada and around the world are beginning to diversify the way energy is produced and gradually shift beyond oil and gas.

As a young person, I am both intimidated by the monumental task of transitioning our energy systems and excited by the opportunities that lie in new energy economies. We have the chance to create new energy sources which work not only for us, but for our children and their children. Looking to the energy systems of the future, I believe it is critical that we make the transition in ways that prioritize the health and longevity of our communities and our environments simultaneously.

My dual interest and concern regarding our energy systems has led me to volunteer with an organization called the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition (MEJC). MEJC is a community-led network of concerned citizens and supporters across the province who are joining together to stand up for fair and accessible energy that prioritizes the interests residents and taxpayers above those of corporations. We work to defend the lands, air, and waters in Manitoba by promoting social and environmental justice in the energy sector. For me, this is a matter of consideration - who and what are we considering as we transition to new energy systems? I believe we must consider the communities who have traditionally stewarded the territories and resources here in Manitoba; consider long term employment needs and trends; consider the rivers and lakes that will provide drinking water for our grandchildren.

As a community-led group, a critical part of the work we do as MEJC is having conversations with communities about energy development and use in the province, and how we can collectively shape our energy future. From hydropower to oil and gas development, we are working to support communities and ecosystems that are bearing the greatest burden of energy projects, and to understand the choices we have to lessen the impacts of these developments. The work hinges on the recognition that we, citizens of Manitoba and Canada, have the power to influence these critical decisions.

Pipelines in Manitoba: Line 3

When we discuss a fair transition to new energy systems for communities and workers, one of our challenges is looking at existing oil and gas infrastructure, including pipelines, and how to diversify that infrastructure. In southern Manitoba, we have numerous oil and gas pipelines running through our lands. If you were raised in this region, you’re probably familiar with the pipeline corridor cutting through our communities here - running from the Saskatchewan border just south of Virden through communities including Morden, Winkler, and Gretna, among others, and into the US. This corridor has seven pipelines, all owned by the oil and gas corporation Enbridge.

One of these pipelines is Enbridge’s Line 3, a 1,660km crude oil pipeline which travels from northern Alberta’s tar sands through Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and across the border through North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. In operation since the 1960s, the Line 3 pipe has deteriorated substantially and is now operating significantly under capacity because of the aging and unstable infrastructure. Enbridge is now proposing to replace the pipeline, while expanding its capacity to nearly double and leaving the existing, decaying pipe in the ground. If built, the new Line 3 pipeline would transport 760,000 barrels of crude oil per day through Manitoba. That’s the equivalent of 48 olympic swimming pools full of oil, everyday. At an estimated $8.2billion, this would be the largest project in Enbridge’s history.

Image: Map of Enbridge Line 3 pipeline expansion project

Why should we be talking about Line 3?

You’ve likely seen the piles of pipes stacked up along the corridor in recent months, in preparation for Line 3 construction in the spring. Since this multibillion dollar project is posed to run through our farmlands and waterways, it certainly warrants conversation. Is this the kind of energy infrastructure we want to develop in our province?

As a concerned young person in Manitoba, I see this as a critical opportunity to talk about the infrastructure we are investing in, and how it relates to the broader energy challenges and opportunities we face as a society. What kind of energy systems do we envision for the future in Manitoba? What alternatives are possible for us as citizens and as a province? How can we design our energy systems in ways that consider the youth of today and future generations? As a student of biology, geography, and Indigenous studies, these are the questions I ask myself. To me energy justice looks like fair and equitable access to energy for all people, from systems that do not compromise the lands and waters for our children and grandchildren.

This is why I am interested in thinking carefully and critically about the construction of new oil pipelines in this province. The impacts of our use of oil and gas are more apparent than ever and cannot be ignored. 2017 was the hottest year on record, and the latest of 16 consecutive record breaking years for global temperature. As the climate changes, we know to expect more extreme events like the wildfires that have swept Western Canada these past three summers, and the increasingly irregular precipitation affecting farmers’ yields here in Manitoba. Oil and gas contribute to these increasing impacts of climate change in addition to posing direct risks to our lands and waters through spills - witnessed most recently close to home with the spill of 5,000 barrels of oil from the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota last November.

It is clear that we will have to move beyond fossil fuels at some point. The longer we wait, the more drastic the impacts of climate change will be, so why not start the conversation now? It is not a question of oil by pipes versus oil by rail. The question we should be asking is what comes after oil, and how do we make the transition collectively? If we look across the country and around the world, we see that the answers are emerging all around us - responsible hydropower, solar, wind, biofuels. The demand for diverse energy sources is rising as costs of production fall faster than predicted.

We are at a moment in history, where we can choose to step forward or back. Faced with Enbridge’s biggest project ever, which would be a significant expansion to global oil infrastructure, we must get together to discuss whether this project is a step in the right direction. Are new pipelines in our best interests? What benefits and risks would the Line 3 expansion bring to Manitobans? These are the critical and difficult questions we must be asking in our communities.

With construction slated to start mid-year, now is the time for discussion on Line 3. In the coming weeks, me and my friends from MEJC will put out more articles with information on the economics, risks, and rewards of Line 3. In coming months, we will be working with communities across southern Manitoba to organize townhall discussions on the issue to share information and listen to the thoughts and concerns of local citizens. We welcome anyone interested in contributing to these conversations to contact us at or through our Facebook page.
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Re: LINE 3: Peaceful Protest Prayer Camp in Treaty 1

Postby Oscar » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:53 am

Big questions for Enbridge

[ ... r-enbridge ]

Will Braun Tuesday, March 6, 2018 4:10:08 CST PM

MORDEN - Every time I drive from our farm south of Morden into town, I cross the single largest conduit of oil into the United States. That is what Enbridge calls its seven-pipeline corridor than passes under the Morden golf course on its southeasterly path to Gretna and across the border.

The seven little signs in the ditch just outside Morden belie the passage of about $125 million dollars worth of oil daily. That underground brownish river carries roughly enough oil to fill up Lake Minnewasta every 12 days.

Though the global superpower is utterly dependent on these pipelines, I bet most people in this area don’t know they exist.
This reality will be harder to ignore in summer as Enbridge plans to replace the aging Line 3 with a larger line. Though the project has escaped the controversy of other new pipelines, Line 3 replacement stands to be the most expensive pipeline ever laid in Canada at an estimated cost of $5.3 billion on the Canadian side and another $3.7 billion in the US.

Pipelines have become flash points of debate about oil, climate and the optimal future of society. These debates are predictably polarized.

Sometimes the lefty environmentalists (friends of mine included) use unrealistic, sloppy arguments, like how solar power can solve virtually everything. Sometimes rightwing climate skeptics (friends included) are quick to cherry pick facts to match their self-interest. And people on both sides tend to be dreadful at humbly listening to people with differing views.

A few years back a member of my church denomination, having read articles in which I called for action to address climate change, challenged me to consider the views of climate skeptics. I came very close to just deleting his email, but in the end I took him seriously, despite his accusatory tone. I devoted considerable effort to finding and understanding what I found to be the strongest—not the weakest—arguments of climate skeptics.

In the end I found the arguments to be not entirely without merit, but overall conveniently slanted. It was a valuable intellectual and spiritual process. It sharpened my thinking and dulled my self righteousness. And it showed me that there is more to be gained by understanding our opponents than silently sneering at them from a distance.

I wrote about my dive into the world of climate skeptics and the person who originally challenged me appreciated the article, even though I didn’t end up agreeing with his view. And I appreciated his challenge and the ensuing back-and-forth we had.

I hear it said that people in this are don’t talk about climate or the environment. I don’t buy it. I know there are many people here who reject the idea of climate change outright. There are some who are deeply concerned. And surely there are many in between. And lots who simply have other things on their minds. That’s the reality.

I simply suggest that climate and energy consumption are such big issues that they warrant constructive, candid discussion. The reality of this massive oil river running right past us punctuates for me the importance of at least talking about the direction our world is going.

Personally, I think Line 3 replacement is a bad idea. To me it is not a question of whether pipelines are safer than trains; of course they are. The question is whether further investment in oil infrastructure makes sense. I believe it is a step in the wrong direction—an investment in the past. I think now is the time to make a concerted step in the direction of a lower carbon future.
Yes I use fossil fuels, though our family has taken significant steps to live in smaller circles. Essentially, that means buying less, travelling less and settling into the beauty of simplicity, home and family. That’s not the Enbridge tune.

I don’t trust the motives of the people who sit around the Enbridge board table, charged as they are with putting the financial self interest of shareholders above all other values. Though, to be fair, Enbridge invests in numerous alternative energy projects. Our world is an interesting shade of grey.

I don’t think the federal government should be subsidizing the oil industry. About $1.6 billion of public money goes to oil and gas companies in Canada annually. That smells like powerful people clinking glasses with rich people while the rest of us pick up the tab.

Wherever we stand on climate, pipelines and government incentives, I believe we need to build a society and community in which we can talk openly and constructively about these and other big questions. We’re all in this together. We’re adults. We can talk, disagree, listen, connect.

In that spirit, I invite you to a town hall style meeting about the implications of Line 3 replacement on March 7 at St. Paul’s United Church in Morden at 7 p.m. The piles of pipe for Line 3 are stacked beside the highway between Winkler and Morden. We can’t ignore the reality of oil in our community and world.
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