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First Nations Rally in Toronto to Demand No Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline

Common Dreams staff

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Hundreds of First Nations protesters and supporters descended upon Toronto today to protest Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline project, which would transport tar sands crude from Alberta to the British Columbia coast.

Representatives of the Yinka Dene Alliance, made up of First Nations groups in British Columbia opposed to Enbridge's pipeline, left Vancouver on a "Freedom Train" on April 30 and headed to the meeting in Toronto to highlight their opposition to the tar sands plan. 

“It is not about money, it is about our way of life,” said Chief Jackie Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation.

“We won’t expose our grandchildren to the risk of an oil spill,” Chief Thomas said. reports that "twenty-five per cent of the proposed 1177-kilometre pipeline route is on the Yinka Dene Alliance's territories, which surround the headwaters of the Fraser, Skeena and Mackenzie watersheds."

Hereditary Chief Tso Dih of BC’s Nak’azdli Band, who is on the Freedom Train, said, “Enbridge’s pipelines and oil supertankers aren’t in Canada’s interest, and we’ll do Canadians a favor by putting a stop to them.”

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The Toronto Star: Enbridge AGM: Police out in full force at giant energy company’s annual general meeting

Dozens of police and security guards were out in full force outside the King Edward hotel on Wednesday as protesters were marching toward the venue.

Enbridge is holding its annual general meeting here and anger over its proposed Northern Gateway pipeline threatened to get loud.

With drums pounding, protesters chanted “we can’t drink oil,” as they marched down King St.

They held placards saying, “No tankers,” “No pipeline without consent” and “Stop Enbridge.”

The controversial $5.5 billion pipeline would stretch 1,172 kilometres from Bruderheim, Alta., to the port of Kitimat, B.C., where crude would be loaded onto tankers to be sold to markets in Asia as well as the U.S. west coast. [...]

To highlight their opposition to the pipeline, 40 representatives of the Yinka Dene Alliance, made up of B.C. First Nations groups, left Vancouver last week on the so-called Freedom Train to travel to Toronto for Enbridge’s AGM and to raise awareness across Canada of the controversy.

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