Yesterday, April 8th 2015, a coalition of 24 groups attempted to present Premier Stephen McNeil with a letter urging him to attend next week's Meeting of the Premiers. The April 14th gathering is a historic moment, where premiers from across Canada will be coming together with only one item on the agenda – climate change. Not only is McNeil opting out of being a part of this meeting, he (and his entire staff) showed a disregard for the people of Nova Scotia by not sparing two minutes of their day to receive a letter asking him to attend.
During the January 30th Council of the Federation meeting, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard was quoted saying that TransCanada's proposed $12-billion dollar pipeline project is important to the Canadian economy but “the environment and the security of communities must come first.” At this meeting we were told by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne that the provinces and territories were making good progress in the creation of a Canadian Energy Strategy focusing on climate change and clean energy. These conversations will undoubtedly continue at the April 14th Meeting, along with discussions of carbon pricing strategies. It is the duty of Stephen McNeil to be at the table representing Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia deserves leadership from our premier on climate action but we also should use this opportunity to showcase the great work that our province has done to meet greenhouse gas emission targets. We need provincial leadership to develop a long-term strategy to transition to a clean energy economy, with good jobs that aren’t harming our health and climate. Stephen McNeil, your citizens are done asking – we are demanding that you take the April Meeting of the Premiers seriously and Act on Climate.
The letter was signed on to by Council of Canadians as an organization as well as the Halifax, South Shore, North Shore Chapters:
Dear Premier Stephen McNeil,
Never before have Canadian premiers gathered with the singular purpose of addressing climate change. Nova Scotia must be at the table. We call on you to personally attend and represent Nova Scotians at the Quebec Summit on climate change on April 14.
Canadian Federation of Students Nova Scotia
Canadian Federation of University Women
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Council of Canadians
Council of Canadians’ Halifax Chapter
Council of Canadians' North Shore Chapter
Council of Canadians’ South Shore Chapter
Dalhousie Student Union Sustainability Office
Divest St. Mary’s University
Ecology Action Centre
If You Build It
Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group
Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Network
Out of the Cold Emergency Shelter
Public Service Alliance Canada Atlantic
Sierra Club Atlantic
South Shore Raging Grannies
St. Andrew’s United Church
St. Margaret’s Bay Shambala Centre
Stop the Energy East Pipeline Halifax
Transition Bay St. Margaret’s
Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax
The Chronicle Herald reported on the event