Archive for the Fossil Fools Day 2010 Category

Bike Block to the East Montreal Petroleum Wasteland

Posted in Fossil Fools Day 2010 on April 7, 2010 by canadaclimatejustice

MONTREAL – On Thursday, April 1, 2010, a group of over 70 left Dominion Square in the heart of Montreal to make the 15 km journey to the city’s east end to shine a light on the largest urban oil refining center in Canada.  Drawing contingents of activists from various student, social and environmental justice groups, the Bike Bloc organized by Climate Justice Montreal made its way down Rene Levesque to Berri and up to Sherbrooke Street, heading on a collision course with the Enbridge Trailbreaker Tar Sands expansion pipeline.

Bikers Occupy the Road as two climbers from CJM hoist a massive banner. Photo Cred Tristan Glenn.

“The east end of Montreal is a seldom seen and discussed region, but it is the largest urban oil refining center in Canada,” said Pierre-Olivier Parent, an organizer with Climate Justice Montreal.  ”It is a vast wasteland of oil, gas and chemical storage tanks, threatening the health of local residents and all Montrealers. If completed the Trailbreaker would bring the direct effects of the Tar Sands right here.”’

The bikes entered the post-apocalyptic petroleum wasteland just beyond the last metro station, passing first by Shell Canada’s Montreal Development. The massive refinery has recently been put up for sale, announced by “A Vendre” signs lining the road, proudly offering up “800 skilled employees” as part of the package deal for any eager buyer.

“Rather than expanding the petroleum infrastructure that is destroying ecosystems and communities, we need to build a clean energy economy, creating meaningful jobs for thousands of people including those working at the Shell Refinery.  Our society needs jobs that are not dependent on unstable, destructive resources that soar and crash, creating environmental and economic catastrophes,” says Cameron Stiff, a local sustainability organizer and activist.

As the bloc moved further east they crossed paths with an imposing concrete slab home to the Trailbreaker, set to send 40,000 barrels – of a daily 200,000 that will pass through the city – of dirty bitumen sludge for refining in Montreal.  The bikers set up a circular road blockade, as two climbers unfurled a 10 meter banner declaring “Changeons le System! Pas Le Climat!” (system change not climate change!) pointing to the Trailbreaker as the physical manifestation of the Tar Sands in Montreal.  A number of speakers pointed to the Tar Sands impacts on the Boreal forest, the Athabasca and Mackenzie watershed and the danger they pose for pushing Canada and the world towards a climate tipping point.  Special emphasis was given to the danger they pose for downstream communities, such as Fort Chipewyan,  who face poisoned water and toxic air each day.

“As we speak, Enbridge, one of the major tar sands pipeline companies, is pushing through a pumping station in the community of Dunham, QC,” said Kawina Robichaud, an organizer with Climate Justice Montreal, as she dangled above the crowd. “This project is going forward without a BAPE report, and without consultation of the local people, in order to facilitate the expansion of the Tar Sands, placing Quebec downstream of the destruction.”

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Canadian Fossil Fools Day 2010 Videos

Posted in Fossil Fools Day 2010 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2010 by canadaclimatejustice

Take a look at all of Canada’s top Fossil Fools

Fossil Fools Day marked in Halifax

Posted in Fossil Fools Day 2010 with tags , , , on April 1, 2010 by canadaclimatejustice

Posted at Halifax Media Co-op

by Hillary Bain Lindsay

We’ve done a lot to create the problem [of climate change] and done nothing to solve it,” says Emily Rideout, one of the participants in Fossil Fools Day actions in Halifax.

Climate justice activists across North America are taking action today saying, “Climate change is no laughing matter, but our leaders are a joke!”

“Harper doesn’t grasp the science [of climate change] let alone the moral issues,” says Rideout. “I’d like to see Canada adopt a science-based target, pull out of the tar sands – or at least put a moratorium on development. Instead, we’re cutting eco-energy programs and funding.”

David Bush is with the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, the organizers of Fossil Fools Day in Halifax. As part of today’s actions, they’ll be holding simultaneous pledge drives at campuses across the city, encouraging students to sign the G20 Youth Climate Pledge, and promise to take action to hold the Canadian government responsible for its failure to take action on climate change.

“The G8 and G20 are the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions, now and historically,” says Bush. “The mode of western development is unsustainable and it’s being pushed down everyone else’s throats.”

Climate change is “a justice issue” according to Linda Scherzinger, a member of the Nova Scotia Coalition for Climate Action and the Interfaith Coalition for Climate Justice. “The people who are suffering the most and will be suffering the most in the future are people who have not been part of the cause,” she says.

Rideout agrees. She points to how the Canadian government failed to consult with First Nations downstream from the tar sands, who are being disproportionately impacted by the pollution.

“Canada has a moral obligation to act,” says Rideout, who his not optimistic about the current government making change. “I’m optimistic about change happening from the bottom up,” she says.

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