Archives for posts with tag: tar sands

map_line 9 Last Spring, the National Energy Board (NEB) approved the reversal of the flow of Enbridge’s oil pipeline 9. It will now carry bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to refineries in Eastern Canada. Line 9, as its commonly referred to, runs through Toronto, and crosses over every river and creek in the city.

Toronto’s rivers, creeks and valleys make up significant wildlife habitats, while providing invaluable resources to communities across the city, not to mention, carrying fresh drinking water from the Oak Ridges Moraine to Lake Ontario. Despite intense protests and backlash against reversing the flow of Line 9 citing the aging pipeline isn’t safe enough to carry such a dangerous material, and referencing the devastating consequences of the pipeline leakage along the Kalamazoo river, the NEB approved the project. We are now learning that Enbridge, the company that controls the pipeline, failed to install adequate safety infrastructure before trying to reverse the pipeline’s flow.

This decision is demonstrative of the lack of democracy in Canada. Our government is essentially an agent for extractive resource industries, and despite opposition, unelected and non-transparent boards make decisions that effect us all.

Another problem, however, is apathy. Most Torontonians, (and most Canadians), are not aware of the major consequences and risks associated with pipeline decisions, or simply don’t care. This leaves me with the impression that we have to start getting better at telling the story of oil in Canada, to get the attention of the disenfranchised and the apathetic, and communicate the risks of Line 9, and the negative consequences of our country’s reliance on oil.

There are many groups that are dedicated to bringing awareness to the issues of pipelines and Line 9 specifically. Some use direct action, while others are hosting events, protests, and lectures about the concerns associated with Line 9. DSCF9898 While biking in upper Scarborough and Rexdale, I passed hydro corridors, where with spray paint, a group has attempted to make it clear where exactly Line 9 runs. The strategy is effective, and you can easily imagine a disastrous leakage if the pipe failed. DSCF9897 I tried to image Line 9 myself, a few months ago, seen as the first image in this post. I tried to focus on the fact that the pipeline crosses every river and creek in Toronto. What do you think of this effort? How else can we get people to realize how close Line 9 is to their lives? How do we effectively image Line 9?

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The Dominion is a monthly Canada-wide publication that provides a venue for alternative journalism. It provides a space for the uncovered angles on major news events, and has a mandate to report on the under-reported.

Each city in Canada has its own Media-Coop, where news from the grassroots is distributed in a variety of formats. The Dominion represents the collective effort of the Media-Coops across Canada. It is a pulse of resistance in this country.

I am very happy to have begun contributing to the Dominion as an illustrator, helping to visualize the the good work of the Media-Coop journalists.

With my first two illustrations, I have brought in my love of geography and maps. As a former professor of mine was known to say, “there’s a geography to everything” — and indeed, we can understand many things on a map.

saskatchewan tar sands

The first illustration accompanied an article exposing initial tar sands exploration in Saskatchewan. Of course, the geologic phenomenon that created the infamous tar sands in Alberta extends beyond the provinces border to the east. On top of this, acid rain from the pollution in Fort McMurray has already started to rain on the Northern Saskatchewan forests.

honduras_hydrocarbon

My second illustrations depicts disembodied Canadian business-hands playing Honduras like a board game. The potential extraction of oil in the north-west threatens to uproot the mostly indigenous Moskitia people there.

I look forward to contributing to the Dominion in the future, helping increase awareness of social and environmental injustices in Canada and beyond, and the resistance that is thriving in its face.