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Prince Albert chapter mails water to Trudeau as a climate welcome

Council of Canadians Prince Albert chapter activist Nancy Carswell and her three-year-old grandson Deklan put water from the North Saskatchewan River into a bottle yesterday and plan to mail it to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to encourage him to be more forward thinking about fossil fuels than outgoing prime minister Stephen Harper.

The Prince Albert Herald reports, “In a symbolic gesture, local environmental activists are mailing a bottle of North Saskatchewan River water to incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. …The bottle of water will represent the ‘risks of tar sands and pipeline expansion and basically our country’s reliance on fossil fuels’, [local activist Jack] Jensen said. It’ll be part of a four-day effort to welcome Trudeau to office and call on him to get work on taking climate action — an effort outlined online at climateaction.ca. The four-day effort will also include the presentation of various treaties and petitions that haven’t been given adequate attention, as well as solar panels for 24 Sussex Drive.”

The Council of Canadians is supporting the upcoming ‘Climate Welcome’ days of action.

The website for this action 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.

This morning, the Globe and Mail reports, “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.”

The 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 on to 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.

The Council of Canadians encourages its chapter activists to send bottles of water to the new prime minister as our Prince Albert chapter is doing. Detailed instructions on how to do this (bottles should be mailed by rural chapters by October 27, urban chapters by October 30) can be found here.

Further reading
The Road Ahead (a blog by Maude Barlow on the election of the Liberal majority government)

See a photo in the Prince Albert Herald of Prince Albert chapter activist Nancy Carswell and grandson Deklan.