Citizens demand Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s resignation over failure to deliver on climate change
Update! View the letter here.
December 16, 2009 (Calgary, AB) – The citizens who had occupied Stephen Harper’s constituency office to demand aggressive action on climate change are calling for the Prime Minister’s resignation. Prime Minister Harper has refused to fulfill Canada’s obligations to reduce climate pollution and support vulnerable communities so citizens are demanding that he resign.
“We hoped the Prime Minister would recognize the will of Canadians and the veracity of climate science and publicly announce the intention to establish a legally binding target,” said Joel Woodhouse, currently at the Prime Minister’s Calgary constituency office. “He continues to play games with the lives of potential climate refugees around the world so we see no other option but to ask for his resignation.”
“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 Woodhouse. “As Canadians, we find this embarrassing.”
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. Now is the time for new, real leadership”