Sarnia, Ont. mayor calls for federal intervention to rescue Line 5 pipeline
SARNIA, ONT. -- Mike Bradley, the mayor of Sarnia, is hoping a last-minute intervention from the federal government can rescue a key oil pipeline that provides fuel for southern Ontario and U.S. markets.
Bradley says the loss of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline would lead to more tanker trucks on the road, more rail cars and more pain at the pumps.
He also believes it could spark an international trade dispute.
“There’s $90 billion of trade that goes between Ontario and Michigan every year. And I don’t know how the governor and the State of Michigan can think you can take an action like this, and not have a tremendously retaliatory impact.”
The Line 5 pipeline, which runs under the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan, connects western oil with refineries in southern Ontario and the U.S. midwest.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Witmer has ordered the pipeline taken out of service by May 12.
But Bradley believes she doesn’t have the authority to execute such an order.
“Unless she’s going to go out there and turn off the pipeline herself, I don’t know what authority she has to do that. It’s a federal pipeline. It is supported by federal regulation. And if by any chance the pipeline is turned off, we’re going to have the war of 1812 again.”
On Thursday the House of Commons held an emergency debate on Line 5. Bradley believes the issue is now in the hands of the federal government.
“It’s now at the level, if it can’t be solved by the courts, it’ll have to be solved by the prime minister of this country and by the president of the United States.”
The Ontario government believes 4,900 jobs are in jeopardy if the line is shut down next week.