Citizens occupy Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office with an ultimatum: sign an aggressive climate treaty or resign as Prime Minister
Where: Stephen Harper’s Calgary constituency offce, 1600 90th Ave SW
When: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 beginning at 10:00am
Update! Photos of the action
December 16, 2009 (Calgary, AB) – At 10:00 this morning, twenty citizens occupied Stephen Harper’s constituency office to offer the ultimatum of taking aggressive action on climate change before the end of the Copenhagen conference or resign as the Prime Minister of Canada. This is the eighth peaceful sit-in since November 23 when seven Albertans were arrested after demanding that Jim Prentice commit Canada to a fair, ambitious and binding treaty in advance of the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen.
“Prime Minister Harper is sabotaging efforts to solve the world’s climate crisis. Around the world Canada is being called a corrupt petro-state, is widely considered the worst blocker of negotiations, and is now even seeing calls for Canada to be banned from the Commonwealth” said Joel Woodhouse, who is currently inside the sit-in. “As Canadians, we are not going to tolerate more of the same from the prime minister so we’re giving him two options: sign on to the minimum reductions scientists say are necessary or resign your position as Prime Minister.”
The UN-established Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that Canada faces serious threats to human health, major displacements of people and destruction of coastal infrastructure, chronic water shortages, and more. Worldwide, the Global Humanitarian Forum states that every year climate change causes over 300,000 human deaths, 325 million people to be severely affected, and economic losses of US$125 billion.
Yet Canada continues to obstruct the current round of climate negotiations in Copenhagen. The policies that Canada’s leaders are advocating in Copenhagen are the opposite of what Canadians want. Before the Copenhagen negotiations began, a poll found a full three-quarters of Canadians were “embarrassed” by Canada’s stance on climate change. During the negotiations, Stephen Harper’s inability to represent Canadian interests has become clear.
“Demanding a Prime Minister’s resignation may seem extreme. Frankly, we don’t know what alternatives remain. We have written letters to our representatives, we have requested meetings with our representatives and we have worked on climate change solutions in our communities for years,” says sit-in participant Susan Stratton. “Canada’s government is still obstructing climate talks and refusing to make any real change. This shows despicable disregard for future generations and for the millions already dying and losing their homes because of climate change. “