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Council of Canadians invite Harper to get on the climate bus

Since Harper could miss UN climate summit, Council of Canadians and Ottawa residents offer to swing by 24 Sussex to pick him up en route to NYC Climate March

BusOttawa – While Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced he will not be among the 125 heads of states attending the UN Secretary General’s Climate summit, the Council of Canadians and Ottawa residents challenge him to joining the caravan from Ottawa heading to New York City’s global climate march on Sunday.

Over 100,000 people are expected to attend the biggest climate march in the planet’s history. The march is on Sunday, September 21 with activities throughout the weekend and the following week.

The march coincides with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s summit of international leaders on climate change on September 23. Harper has said that, although he will be in New York City on September 25 and all of the other world leaders are attending, he will not attend.

“It is scandalous that Canada’s Prime Minister is not attending this summit, but it’s not too late for him to change his mind: We can pass by 24 Sussex to pick him up if he wants to learn about climate change, participate in the march, and then meet his responsibility to join other climate leaders at the summit,” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, the Council of Canadians’ Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner, who is helping coordinate one of the buses from Ottawa. “Canada has become a climate criminal, from the muzzling of scientists to the slashing of environmental protections and rubber-stamping of fossil fuel infrastructure. That’s why it’s so important for Canadians to be present at this march. We care, and we demand action, for people and the planet.”

New pipeline infrastructure such as Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway, TransCanada’s Energy East and the Kinder Morgan TransMountain expansion threaten to spur further expansion in the tar sands, which are already having significant impacts on downstream communities.

These projects are needed to achieve oil industry’s pipedream of ramping production up from 1.9 million barrels a day to over 5 million barrels per day. The International Energy Agency reports that this level of production fits scenarios that will lead to a catastrophic increase in global temperature.

Given the threat this presents to us all, Canadians participating in the march are invited to join the tar sands bloc, part of the fossil fuel resistance section of the march.

“It gives me hope that while our leadership may be lacking, Ottawa students, parents, grandparents, environmentalists, and social justice activists alike will be present demanding change and providing examples of the ways forward.  I think we can expect a colourful, dynamic march full of creativity against what is arguably the biggest threat humanity has faced.”

WHEN: Saturday, September 20, 2014, 6:30 a.m.
WHERE: Lamoureux Hall, University of Ottawa, 145 Jean-Jacques Lussier

People will gather with banners and signs outside of the Ottawa bus to the People’s Climate March. There will be good visuals of people leaving on the bus.

Buses will also leave from Kingston, Toronto and Halifax.

Visit People’s Climate March for more details: www.peoplesclimatemarch.org

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For interviews on the bus or at the march: Andrea Harden-Donahue, aharden@canadians.org, (613) 793-5488

For interviews before or after: Sujata Dey, sdey@canadians.org (613) 796-7724

Photo: Glen Wallace, Flkr Media Commons