Extreme extractivism expansion and resistance in Eastern Canada

Authors: JP Sapinski*, Université de Moncton, Darin Brooks, College of the North Atlantic
Topics: Energy, Environment, Canada
Keywords: Carbon extractivsm, Climate change, Corporate power, Socio-environmental movements
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 39
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The expansion of extreme carbon extractivism in Western Canada has been the focus of sustained attention by critical researchers, as it results in a steady increase of greenhouse gas emissions, continuous colonization, and exploitation of Indigenous lands. However, Eastern Canada also has a long history of dependency on carbon extractivism that has had lasting impacts on the environment and Indigenous lands. In recent years, projects involving hydraulic fracturing, offshore extraction, and pipeline expansion (as well as existing refineries and coal-fired power plants) have been the focus of public attention in all Eastern provinces. These extraction activities and infrastructure projects have become flashpoints of resistance by civil society, which intersect cultural boundaries to bring together Indigenous, French, and English communities into a broad societal movement.

We will present preliminary results of a geovisualization project that maps the ongoing extreme extractivism in Eastern Canada. The maps are attributed with geoinformation regarding project sponsors or shareholders, type of governmental involvement, and civil society resistance. We use a power structure/corporate mapping approach to describe the relationships between project ownership at the national and transnational levels and the constellation of financial interests in the sector within and outside of Canada. Additionally, we examine how extreme carbon extractivist projects turn into flashpoints of contention. These flashpoints are the impetus for local communities to mobilize to the defence of the land, air, and water on which they depend - ultimately creating a collective and cohesive broad movement of resistance across the country and the world.

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