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Saint John chapter hosts Gordon Laxer talk on ‘After the Sands’

Photo by Lynaya Astephen.

The Council of Canadians Saint John chapter hosted a talk by Gordon Laxer last night on his book After the Sands: Energy and Ecological Security for Canadians.

Saint John chapter activist Lynaya Astephen says, “There was an excellent attendance of about 100 people.”

Laxer is a political economist, a professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, and the founding director of the Parkland Institute. He is also an opponent of the Trans Canada 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East tar sands export pipeline and a proponent of attaining energy security through the phasing out of carbon fuel use and transitioning to renewable energy.

He has highlighted a “first step would be to cap and then phase out the Sands [his term for the tar sands] over fifteen years, starting with the oldest projects. Canada can meet its target of reducing carbon emissions by 80 per cent if it phases out Sands oil and relies instead on our slowly falling output of conventional oil and natural gas as transition carbon fuels to get Canadians to a low-carbon future run on renewables.”

Laxer has also noted, “For years, I called for oil pipelines to bring Western Canadian oil to Eastern Canadians.” But he writes, “Will [the Energy East pipeline] ever be converted and built? Even if it is, most of the oil it would carry will be for export. TransCanada and the Irving group are planning an ice-free, deep-water port in Saint John to load the world’s largest oil tankers with Western Canadian and shale oil to be carried to the globe’s most lucrative markets.”

Last night’s public forum was part of a 5-community tour with upcoming stops in:

Halifax – October 27

Mahone Bay – October 28

The PEI chapter and the Fredericton chapter also hosted Laxer earlier this week.

The Guelph, Centre Wellington, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, and Toronto chapters organized After the Sands book tour stops in this past spring.

To follow Laxer on Twitter go to @AfterTheSands