Canadian First Nations protest Enbridge pipeline

May 9, 2012 at 9:29 AM

TORONTO, May 9 (UPI) -- Tribal communities along the Canadian west coast won't let oil pipelines cross through their territory, an elder said.

Canadian pipeline company Enbridge aims to build its Northern Gateway pipeline from tar sand projects in Alberta province to ports along the west coast. An alliance of First Nations arrived in Toronto on a leg of their so-called Freedom Train to protest the annual shareholder meeting for Enbridge, reports the Toronto Sun.

"They didn't get permission and we want them to respect that we're not going to allow any oil lines within our territory," tribal Chief Peter Erickson was quoted as saying.

Enbridge had offered First Nations a trust fund and claim the project would provide economic benefits to their community, though Erickson said it wasn't worth the risk.

Critics of tar sands projects such as Northern Gateway complain the corrosive nature of that type of crude makes it likely that pipelines would rupture.

Enbridge officials had said the company aimed to have a dialogue with pipeline opponents to highlight the potential benefits of the project. About 25 percent of Northern Gateway would cross tribal territory.

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