_ (via Ecology Ottawa) _ ** Over 100 local businesses participate in pipeline protest: Tens of thousands of blackened loonies circulated in Ottawa to raise awareness about proposed Energy East pipeline ** Over 100 local businesses are working together to put tens of thousands of blackened loonies into circulation in Ottawa to raise awareness of the proposed Energy East pipeline. The coins are marked with a removable decal that points to a website (“noEEpipeline.ca”) with information about the threats the pipeline poses to Ottawa’s water, land and climate. The decal also simulates an oil spill by blackening the image of the iconic loon.
“We are working to ensure that people in Ottawa know about the dangers of the proposed Energy East pipeline,” said Graham Saul, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. “The positive response from local businesses has been overwhelming, we’re having a hard time keeping up with demand for the coins.”
In total, over 100,000 decals have been distributed, which means that tens of thousands of marked coins are circulating in the city. Over 100 local businesses, ranging from fast food outlets to bars to clothing stores, are actively participating in providing the loonies to their customers as change.
The proposed Energy East pipeline would be the largest tar sands pipeline in North America once completed, larger than the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Energy East would ship over a million barrels a day of primarily tar sands oil, from Alberta through Ottawa to export ports in New Brunswick. A single spill from the pipeline could threaten the Ottawa River, the World Heritage Rideau River, the City of Ottawa’s drinking water, rural aquifers and farmland. The pipeline also represents a substantial threat to the climate by facilitating the continued expansion of the Alberta tar sands.
“We know that it is impossible for Canada to do its fair share to fight climate change while allowing the tar sands to expand as projected,” said Alex Tétreault, Lead Organizer with Ecology Ottawa. “This proposed pipeline is incompatible with the climate commitments made by Canada at the Paris climate talks.”
Ecology Ottawa is urging local decision-makers to join the growing chorus of voices opposing tar sands pipeline projects across the country. This year, the Mayor of Montreal along with representatives of the 82-member Montreal Metropolitan Community voiced strong opposition to Energy East. The mayors of Vancouver and Burnaby have also voiced strong opposition to the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline.