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Edmonton chapter takes part in #ClimateMarch2017 to Alberta Legislature

Photo by Diane Connors

The Council of Canadians Edmonton chapter took part in the People’s Climate March to the Alberta Legislature today.

The outreach had noted, “We look forward to seeing you at Churchill square for the People’s Climate March – Edmonton style! We will gather between 12 and 1 pm to paint signs and to take pictures that will be sent to our MLAs and posted to social media. By 1 pm we will be sent on our way by an elder and march down Jasper Ave. Once at the Legislature, speeches will be made by strong women such as Jennifer Welchman from the UofA, Roberta Laurie, author and instructor at Macewan, and Michelle Myers from Indigenous Climate Action. These women each have a story that will insipire us about how to talk about climate change and use practical solutions to lead us into the sunny Albertan future.”

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley supports the 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline, the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, and the 830,000 barrels per day Keystone XL pipeline. She also supports the Canada-China Free Trade Agreement in which the Chinese government is seeking to lift investment restrictions on Chinese state owned enterprises investing in the tar sands.

The Canadian Press recently reported, “Alberta’s NDP premier has a message for anyone in her government who is thinking of going to British Columbia to campaign for the New Democrats in that province’s election: Think again. The B.C. NDP are locked in a tight election campaign and one of the party’s key planks is opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta through B.C. It’s fairly common for members from different provincial wings of the same party to help in each other’s campaigns. But Premier Rachel Notley says it would be difficult for anybody who works for her government to support candidates that oppose a project so crucial to Alberta’s interest.”

In November 2015, the Notley government (which had taken power just six months earlier) announced their ‘climate leadership plan’.

At that time, Maclean’s magazine reported, “When Notley was asked about Oil Change International’s tweet that this means ‘no new tar sands growth’, the premier furrowed her brow and said no. Furrowing and shaking their heads along with her were four oil sands executives invited to share the announcement, from Suncor, Shell, Cenovus and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.”

The Globe and Mail notes, “The tar sands currently emits 70 megatonnes of greenhouse gases a year. Under Alberta’s ‘climate leadership’ plan, that would be allowed to rise to a cap of 100 megatonnes a year. That represents a 43 per cent increase in the carbon emissions from the tar sands. Beyond the cap, the Alberta plan allows for another 10 megatonnes of emissions a year for new upgrading and cogeneration facilities.”

When the plan was announced, it was reported that the various measures would cost producers less than $1 per barrel of oil. The Maclean’s article highlights, “If the rhetoric and action are enough to make the next pipeline plans actually go through, then the plan could pay for itself.”

Last month, the Toronto Star reported this caution, “Environment Canada is projecting that, based on policies in place [as of November 2016], the country was on pace to miss its reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, pumping out at least 30 per cent more than promised that year.”