About 300 demonstrators gathered at Oka National Park on Saturday to protest against the expansion of oil sands production, and pipelines bringing the oil east from Alberta.
Rallies were held in more than 120 communities across Canada for a “National Day of Action” against climate change to protest Bill C-45 and C-38, which, in the opinion of the opponents, weaken environmental laws.
Demonstrations were organized by environmental and community groups, trade unions and indigenous communities.
Kanesatake residents said they want to stop the reversal of Enbridge’s Line 9B pipeline.
"The oil sands are mined in Alberta territories at the expense of First Nations who live there. On top of that, they want to pass pipelines through [indigenous territories] to carry it from Alberta to Quebec,” said Mélissa Mollen Dupuis, spokeswoman for the Idle No More movement in Quebec.
Mollen Dupuis said she believes the federal government needs to consult more with Aboriginal people on issues of resource extraction and transportation.
Québec Solidaire's Amir Khadir called Alberta’s oil sands "the dirtiest oil in the world.”
"[The pipeline] is so hazardous that the United States did not accept it. British Columbia put regulations so high that companies will never be able to meet conditions. Yet with all the dangers, we let the oil on our territory, " he said.
Another rally took place in Montreal’s Old Port, as well as on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and in Toronto.