Some people are calling it Canada’s defining environmental battle. And while the fight to stop Enbridge’s Northern Gateway oil pipeline has been going on for many months, for organizations like Ecojustice, it’s gathering serious momentum.

More than 4,500 individuals, organizations and companies have signed up to appear at hearings on the proposed pipeline, which began in January.

Thousands more are voicing their concern over the project in newspapers and online. They’re standing in opposition to laying 1,176 kilometres of pipe from the Alberta oilsands across pristine wilderness to B.C.’s north coast, where waiting tankers would meet the toxic cargo and transport it to Asia for refining. These Canadians know that everything in the pipeline’s path is threatened by the spectre of a spill.

But the environment isn’t the only thing people are standing up for. Across the country, people have reacted to efforts by the oil lobby and our federal government to silence opposition to the pipeline. Using terms like “radicals” and “foreigners,” these groups have tried to draw a line between those who have a right to speak and those who don’t. But far from putting a chill on Canadians, their efforts are mobilizing more people every day to stand up for our future. We are heartened that so many of you have called or written to affirm this in recent weeks.

Ecojustice is one of several organizations that have come under fire in this silencing campaign. Like you, we remain committed to making sure that decision-makers know this pipeline is unsafe, unsustainable and unnecessary.

During the hearings, Ecojustice will provide evidence on behalf of several environmental groups that outlines many of the pipeline’s threats, including the risk posed to killer whales and other marine wildlife by introducing tanker traffic to B.C.’s unpredictable coastal waters.

Ecojustice is standing up against the pipeline because we believe that the risks the project poses to the environment — the air, water and land all Canadians depend on — far outweigh the benefits.