Meet Tinda Sebe-Sikaneta.
Tinda is a community organizer advocating to stop Energy East, a proposed TransCanada pipeline that would pass through Ottawa, Canada.
Tinda lives in Stittsville, Ontario, a rapidly expanding suburb of west Ottawa, with her husband and three young boys. A former environmental policy professional, Tinda is attuned to the importance of protecting the environment for future generations. When she learned that TransCanada, a major North American energy company, was planning to convert her community’s existing natural gas pipeline to one that would carry bitumen from the Alberta tar sands, she knew she must intervene. The Alberta tar sands, Canada’s largest industrial project to date, are the fastest-growing single source of greenhouse gas emission in Canada.
Tinda began to research the issue and uncovered that the National Energy Board of Canada is currently investigating TransCanada’s pipeline construction practices. Digging deeper, she found that Energy East is a hasty back up plan TransCanada generated following the stagnation of plans to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline through the United States. This, alongside recent findings from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) revealing 1,047 pipeline spills across Canada between 2000 and 2012, fueled Tinda’s indignation.
Tinda is concerned that a poorly planned, poorly engineered pipeline could put her family and her community at risk. Moreover, she understands that this pipeline would directly connect her community to the Alberta tar sands, and inevitably contribute to its expansion and to climate change.
Citizen engagement – particularly of those living on or near the proposed pipeline route – is at the heart of Tinda’s campaign to oppose the Energy East pipeline. She works to inform community members of the proposed pipeline and encourages them to find their own answers outside of those provided by TransCanada.