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UPDATE: Council supports protest against Harper in London

The Council of Canadians supports our friends at the UK Tar Sands Network who will be protesting Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and International Trade Minister Ed Fast in London later this week.

Postmedia News reports, “Harper will be greeted in London on Thursday with anti-oilsands protests as he delivers a speech to the British Parliament, an early sign that Canada’s bitumen production will likely be a popular topic during Harper’s eight-day trip to Europe. Harper and a handful of his ministers left for the European trip Tuesday.”

“Around the same time Harper delivers the first speech by a Canadian prime minister to the British Parliament since 1944, a coalition of environmental groups will gather outside to protest the oilsands and Canada’s lobbying against the EU’s fuel quality directive. ‘The lobbying that we’ve seen from the Canadian government has been absolutely extraordinary and relentless’, said Jess Worth, with the UK Tar Sands Network. ‘The battle over the tar sands has come to Europe in a very real way.’ Organizers say that, on the street outside Parliament, they’ll recreate the protest of former Canadian Senate page Brigette DePape, who was tossed out of the red chamber in 2011 during the Throne Speech after she held up a red stop-sign-shaped placard that said ‘Stop Harper’.”

The article adds, “The federal government will also be looking to build support against a proposed European Union fuel law that, as drafted, would label the oilsands a dirtier form of crude. …A council of EU ministers is expected to vote on the proposed fuel quality directive in the fall, after an impact assessment has been completed and released. …It’s expected Harper will also look to carve out a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G8 talks, with the Keystone XL pipeline (which would transport 830,000 barrels of oil a day primarily from Alberta’s oilsands to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast) almost certainly near the top of the agenda for any tete-a-tete. …(Obama) is expected to announce a final decision on the Keystone XL project later this year.”

The Council of Canadians has campaigned extensively in favour of the European Fuel Quality Directive and against the Keystone XL pipeline.

For more, please read:
UPDATE: Harper – We don’t want your dirty oil!
NEWS: UK signals support for EU to import tar sands oil
UPDATE: 50,000 protest against the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington