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London chapter collects Thames River water for Trudeau’s ‘climate welcome’

London climate welcome

Photo courtesy of Dimitri Lascaris

The Council of Canadians London chapter collected water from the Thames River earlier this week to present to Justin Trudeau on Nov. 7 as part of the ‘Climate Welcome’ days of action.

The ‘Climate Welcome’ website notes, “From November 5th – 8th, we’ll be creating a kind of ‘Welcoming Committee’ outside the Prime Minister’s residence to welcome the new leader to office and remind him that the people expect leadership on climate change. It’ll be a welcoming party of sorts — which means there will most certainly be some memorable gifts. …On the third day, November 7th, we’ll shine a spotlight on grassroots movements across Canada that have been fighting to defend their communities and our climate from reckless pipeline expansion. The gifts on this day will provide a powerful image of what’s at risk if these pipelines are built. We’re going to do this by providing water samples from the rivers, lakes and coastlines that tar sands pipelines would put at risk, and from water bodies that have already been poisoned as a result of the tar sands.”

The first day will have the gift of a basket of broken treaties with documentation of the hundreds of violations of Indigenous rights that have taken place in the tar sands, while the second day will have the gift of a petition signed by thousands of people against tar sands and pipelines.

The Globe and Mail has reported, “Prior to and during the campaign, Mr. Trudeau proclaimed his support for the oil industry during visits to Alberta. While he opposed Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, he has supported TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL to the U.S. Gulf Coast, and offered a qualified endorsement of TransCanada’s Energy East project and Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain expansion. However, he slammed Conservative changes to environmental-assessment procedures for pipeline projects, saying they resulted in a loss of confidence among Canadians.”

That article adds, “Both Energy East and Trans Mountain have applied for approval to the National Energy Board [NEB], and those reviews are governed by the Conservatives’ controversial changes to process. Typically, projects already submitted for approval would be grandfathered when a government changes regulatory rules. But [Calgary-based lawyer Alan] Ross said a Liberal cabinet will find it politically difficult to approve controversial pipeline projects that were reviewed under a process that Mr. Trudeau had publicly condemned as lacking in credibility.”

The Liberal cabinet will be formed on November 4, the day before the ‘Climate Welcome’ action begins.

The Council of Canadians supports the reset button being pressed on the NEB reviews of Energy East and Trans Mountain. We oppose these pipelines along with the Keystone XL, Northern Gateway and Arctic Gateway projects. Together these pipelines would move about 1.26 billion barrels a year (3.45 million barrels per day) and result in a massive expansion of the tar sands, plus unsustainable water use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow recently signed a statement that calls on governments to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and to freeze fossil fuel extraction by leaving 80 per cent of all existing fossil fuel reserves in the ground. We have also signed the Leap manifesto which demands “no new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future” and asserts that we could have a 100 per cent clean economy by 2050.

To date, our Prince Albert and Saint John chapters have also collected water for the action on November 7.

The deadline to mail water for this action is this Friday, more details on that here.

Further reading
Prince Albert chapter mails water to Trudeau as a climate welcome (October 2015 blog)