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Canadians rally against oil

Nov. 18, 2013 at 8:04 AM   |   Comments

MONTREAL, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Andres Fontecilla, president of a Quebec sovereignty movement, said the Canadian government should listen to the oil concerns of indigenous peoples.

"[The principle of self-determination of indigenous peoples] means that the government must commit that any economic development project affecting lands of indigenous communities be accompanied by an agreement with the community on how to meet their aspirations," Fontecilla said in a statement Saturday.

More than 100 protests took place Saturday across Canada to oppose the oil ambitions in the country, The Montreal Gazette reported. Aboriginal communities joined protests against pipeline company Enbridge Energy, which plans to reverse the direction of its Line 9B pipeline through Quebec.

Enbridge reversed the flow of the pipeline in 1998 to accommodate oil imports from the Middle East and West Africa. The company now wants to return the pipeline to its original state to accommodate the expansion of oil production in Western Canada.

Fontecilla said the provincial government in Quebec was acting as an accessory to the oil industry and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who's said economic growth depends in part on the oil and natural gas sector.

The Gazette reported demonstrators in Quebec were more cautious about oil following a deadly oil train disaster in July. At least 40 people were killed when tankers filled with crude oil from North Dakota derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

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