Saskatchewan Lieutenant-Governor Vaughn Schofield reads the Speech from the Throne, May 17. Photo by Mark Taylor/Canadian Press.
The Council of Canadians Saskatoon chapter is supporting the broad-based call for Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall to clarify his position on climate change.
His government’s recent Speech from the Throne stated: “But it is troubling that today, there are some in this country who, given the opportunity, would shut down major parts of Saskatchewan’s economy and put thousands of hard-working Saskatchewan people out of work, all in the name of some misguided dogma that has no basis in reality. There are those who are not comfortable with and even oppose much of what we produce in Saskatchewan and how we produce it – oil and gas, coal and uranium, livestock and grains. They would prefer that those sectors did not exist and that the thousands of jobs in those sectors did not exist. They look at those jobs like they are somehow harming the country and the world.”
“There are those” who would “shut down” “oil and gas, coal and uranium, livestock and grains” “in the name of some misguided dogma that has no basis in reality”?
Given Wall’s opposition to calls for provincial and national climate change action, his promotion of “clean coal” and carbon capture and storage at the COP21 climate summit in Paris, and his opposition to a national carbon tax (without proposing other climate action strategies), this statement has generated further concern.
Climate Justice Saskatoon notes, “Quite apart from the general tone of paranoia, this looked very much like denial of the science of climate change. In response to a national petition and some national media coverage, Wall’s spokespeople said that no, it was only criticising the Leap Manifesto. Given that the Leap Manifesto is itself based on scientifically understood climate reality – and Brad Wall’s policies aren’t – we think this makes no difference.”
As such, the Saskatoon chapter and Climate Justice Saskatoon are now encouraging people in Saskatchewan to sign this letter to the Premier that seeks to clarify his position on climate change.
That letter says, “In your Speech from the Throne you referred to ‘some in this country who, given the opportunity, would shut down major parts of Saskatchewan’s economy and put thousands of hard-working Saskatchewan people out of work, all in the name of some misguided dogma that has no basis in reality’. This is a serious accusation, and the people of Saskatchewan deserve a full and detailed explanation. As a public servant, it is your duty to tell us: (i) who are the people about whom you are making this accusation, and (ii) the nature of the alleged ‘misguided dogma’.”
The letter then asks the Premier ten questions that, if answered, would serve to clarify his position on climate change. One of those questions is: “Do you accept the scientific consensus that the earth is warming, that consequently the climate is changing in diverse and potentially devastating ways, and that this results primarily from human activity in the form of greenhouse gas emissions?” Another question they ask is: “Do you accept that Saskatchewan, like all jurisdictions worldwide, has a responsibility to take action commensurate with [limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels]?”
To add your name to this letter, before it is sent to the Premier, please e-mail your name and the name of your town in Saskatchewan to email@example.com
Climate Justice Saskatoon says, “The more names the better!”
Council of Canadians chapters in Saskatchewan – Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert, and Quill Plains – have all called on their provincial government to take action to address climate change.
DeSmog Canada has highlighted, “Saskatchewan sports the highest per-capita emissions of any province: at last count, the province accounts for 10.3 per cent of the country’s emissions despite only boasting three per cent of its people. Between 1990 and 2013, its total emissions increased by 66 per cent, compared to Alberta (the second highest in the category) which increased by 53 per cent. The oil, gas and mining sector accounts for 34 per cent of the province’s emissions, with the electricity sector chipping in an additional 21 per cent (close to half of the province’s power is generated by burning coal).”
Saskatchewan chapters call for transition to renewable energy (March 24, 2016)
Saskatoon chapter activist calls for an end to subsidies for the fossil fuel industry (November 26, 2015)