MONTREAL — It took nearly seven hours for Montreal police to finally remove a protestor chained to a fence outside Enbridge’s Montreal headquarters in Montreal’s east end.
Daniel Lacoursiere, a spokesperson for the Montreal police, said that three activists chained themselves with bicycle u-locks and heavy chains to a fence near Broadway and Henri Bourassa at 6:20 a.m.
One woman unlocked her own chains. The ladder on a fire truck was used to remove a second protestor from a tripod drapped with a sign that read No Pipelines.
Freeing the third protestor from her chains proved to be a long and delicate operation. Police first covered her in protective clothing, including a helmet, before using a small circular saw to cut the bicycle lock attaching her neck to the fence. Police spokesperson Daniel Lacoursière told Global News that officers were very careful not to hurt the protestor during the opeartion.
According to a statement, the activists are hoping to disrupt Suncor’s refinery operations to raise awareness of the issues involved in transporting oil across the country.
You can view a detailed map of Line 9′s route here.
Activists said they are expressing public outrage against the arrival of tar sands oil in Quebec.
The oil will by transported by the Enbridge pipeline 9B, which activists say will ship up to 300,000 barrels of crude oil to the province from Alberta every day.
One of the activists, Alyssa Symons-Bélanger, said in a statement that the reason for the protest is that many feel there are no other means to have their voices heard.
“The citizens of Quebec are opposed to the transportation of tar sands oil and are demanding an immediate halt to its development,” she said.
Graham White, a spokesperson for Enbridge, told Global News that the company has in fact received lots of support from Quebecers for the Line 9 project.
“We do not believe that three protesters who break the law to make their point represent the people of Quebec,” he said in an email.
“The public review of Line 9B was extensive, open and thorough and we’ve engaged thousands of people over the past nearly two years – going well beyond what’s required of us through the regulatory process.”
He also noted that the activists were protesting tar sands and not just “Alberta oil”:
“A reversed Line 9 will transport largely light products in accordance with what the destination refineries are able to refine, so we are just a target of opportunity for these groups.”
The three women were taken to a police station for questioning. They will be charged with mischief.