Mennonites protest Enbridge Line 3 in front of Winnipeg Bank


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Members of the Winnipeg Mennonite community ask TD Canada Trust to divest their interest in the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline.

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About 60 protesters gathered outside a Notre Dame Avenue branch on Sunday afternoon to sing, pray and protest the continued replacement of the pipeline that connects Alberta with the northern states of the United States to Superior, Wisconsin.

“TD is the main financier of Line 3, so it has a moral responsibility to step in and not fund the climate catastrophe,” said Steve Heinrichs, one of the organizers of the Justice Team of Hope protest. Mennonite Church located in Winnipeg.

The church held another protest at the same time at the Enbridge pipeline terminal in Gretna.

Almost all of the faithful walked or cycled to the gathering, which was equally a religious service, including songs, prayers and speakers. One member even cut his bank card in a symbolic gesture ending their 30-year relationship with the bank because of their connection to financing oil and gas projects.

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TD Canada Trust did not respond to requests for comment.

The pipeline was originally built in the 1960s and the Canadian portion of the replacement has been completed. Enbridge is currently working on the Minnesota stage, which began in December. The new line follows the current line that crosses a number of First Nations communities.

More than 700 protesters have been arrested in recent weeks for trying to block construction of the pipeline. The White Earth Nation Tribal Court has filed a lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, among others, to try to stop construction of the pipeline.

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, addressed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia to urge them to increase oil exports to the United States as demand for oil and gas continues to increase.

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Protest organizer Steve Heinrichs writes a prayer over the TD Bank window entrance on Notre Dame Avenue in Winnipeg on Sunday August 22, 2021. Josh Aldrich / Winnipeg Sun
Protest organizer Steve Heinrichs writes a prayer over the TD Bank window entrance on Notre Dame Avenue in Winnipeg on Sunday August 22, 2021. Josh Aldrich / Winnipeg Sun

Heinrichs, who does decolonization work with Mennonite Church Canada, was not deterred by this. He said the church has long supported First Nations in protecting their lands, supporting the Dene people in resisting the MacKenzie Valley pipeline in 1977. Their partnership only grew from there.

“I think every part helps,” he said. “A very conservative think tank, the International Energy Agency… said we cannot afford new fossil fuel projects, even if it brings short term gains, it will cause long pain. term.”

He also said that there are many within the Mennonite Church who may not support this position, but more and more people are starting to come.

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Twitter: @ JoshAldrich03

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