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McKenna greeted by silent #StopKM protesters during Ottawa speech

Earlier this morning I participated in a silent protest with other youth from Ottawa to call on Minister McKenna to play a leadership role in stopping the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

The Trudeau government’s cabinet, including McKenna and all other ministers, need to make a decision on the Kinder Morgan pipeline, yay or nay, by December 19th. So far, cabinet has hinted that it might approve the pipeline, but climate science is not in line with increased production of tar sands bitumen, and opposition is fierce.

This action comes on the heels of last week’s Climate 101 civil disobedience action last week that resulted in 99 young people being arrested on Parliament Hill calling on Trudeau to “Reject the Kinder Morgan pipeline”.

Messages we held up to McKenna and the 50+ crowd in attendance read “Reject Kinder Morgan” and “Climate leaders don’t build pipelines”.

Today’s Globe and Mail also features an op-ed by Jeff Rubin, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and former chief economist and chief strategist at CIBC World Markets, that states that any new pipeline would be useless and un-fillable within the current context where countries are making international commitments and oil prices are not likely to increase to where the tar sands industry needs them to be. “Far from needing new pipelines, the oil sands industry will soon have problems filling the capacity of existing ones in tomorrow’s emission-constrained world.”

Minister McKenna and other ministers have been saying that we need to get our resources to market, while others have said that we need to get oil to tidewater, two arguments that Jeff Rubin, among others, has dismantled.

One thing is for certain, we can expect the pressure to increase on cabinet ministers in the days and weeks to come. It is a time to expect the most and the best from our elected officials.

A simple choice is before the liberal cabinet:

  1. Approve Kinder Morgan, and side with Big Oil’s vision for a fossil fueled and uncertain economic future, or

  2. Reject Kinder Morgan, and usher Canada into a new healthy economy, that ensures our water and our environment is healthy, protected and sustains us, all in respect and alongside indigenous peoples and their cultures.

One implies climate leadership, the other gives into a fossil fuel status quo for decades to come.

It is way past time we built an economy for Canada that is based on caring for the earth and one another.