Line 5 — a 70-year-old, deteriorating pipeline — carries 87 million liters of oil and gas per day through the heart of the Great Lakes.

The pipeline, operated by Enbridge Energy, sits at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. According to a University of Michigan study, Line 5 lies in the worst place for an oil spill to occur. A rupture in the pipeline could contaminate up to 1200 km of Great Lakes shoreline in the U.S. and Canada.

The Great Lakes are a source of drinking water for over 30 million people in the US and Canada. They contain 21 per cent of the world’s surface freshwater and 84 per cent of North America’s freshwater. For the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and many Tribal Nations, First Nations, and Métis peoples, the Great Lakes are extremely important waterbodies. Line 5 threatens the waters, lands, and way of life for Indigenous peoples of the area and of all peoples living in nearby shoreline communities.

New analysis shows that we do not need Line 5 in order to reliably meet our present day energy needs. Viable alternatives are within reach and can be utilized relatively soon if the U.S. and Canadian governments decide to prioritize the protection of the Great Lakes and the planet. We can continue to reliably heat our homes and drive our cars without Line 5 and with the current energy infrastructure that we have. 

We are urging the Canadian government to:

  • Shut down Line 5 and utilize the alternatives that are within reach and available. 
  • Put the health and long-lasting preservation of the Great Lakes ahead of the short-term financial interests of the fossil fuel corporation, Enbridge Energy.
  • Respect the Tribes and First Nations exercising their sovereign rights as the original stewards of the land, by calling for the shut down of Line 5.
  • Prioritize the need for us to wind down the oil and gas sector in light of the urgency to act swiftly on climate change and a heating planet.
  • Advance the electrification of the energy grid and the accessibility of clean and renewable energy alternatives to meet our energy needs.

Take action today and tell the federal government to support the closure of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline and protect the Great Lakes.


Your letter will be sent to: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Hon. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Hon. Melanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs




Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.


LETTER Show/ Hide

The Honourable
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Prime Minister of Canada
Prime Minister
The Honourable
Minister of Natural Resources
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
The Honourable
Minister of Foreign Affairs