ACTION UPDATES

CBC INTERVIEW OF THE FIRST CLIMATE JUSTICE SIT-IN



Help with legal costs:

You can also send a check directly to:

Donate. Legal fees can be expensive; let’s share the load.   Donate to the People For Climate Justice Legal Defence Fund
(please write this in the memo of your check)
Checks can be written to:
Greenspiration
214 Macdonell Ave
Toronto, ON, M6R 2A8

SEVENTH CLIMATE JUSTICE SIT-IN UPDATE

SIX YOUTH ARRESTED AFTER PEACEFUL SIT-IN INSIDE PARLIAMENT FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE

Ottawa (1:30pm) / – Six youth were arrested and charged with trespassing after a peaceful sit-in inside the House of Commons Environment Committee at 11:30am.

“Pleas from Canadian youth for politicians to take action to protect their future and make climate justice a priority were ignored by parliamentarians,” said Cameron Gray.

In the meeting, the  Conservatives made clear that they would only support the return of bill of C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, to the House of Commons in order to then vote it down.

SEVENTH CLIMATE JUSTICE SIT-IN BEGINS

YOUTH STAGE PEACEFUL SIT-IN FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE INSIDE THE HOUSE OF COMMON’S ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE

People for Climate Justice
Media contacts:
Cameron Gray: 613-883-4729
Cameron Fenton: 613-324-5615
Kawina Robichaud: 867-333-9243

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa (Tuesday, December 8, 2009) / — At approximately 11:30am, six youth staged a peaceful sit-in inside the Canadian parliament, at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in the Centre Block, pledging to stay until the Harper government acts to combat the climate crisis by committing to large-scale, science-based carbon emission reductions. The sit-in is part of an ongoing series of acts of peaceful civil disobedience taking place across the country since late November, during which time almost thirty people have been arrested for peacefully occupying the offices of six Conservative Cabinet Ministers.

“The Environment Committee, the House of Commons, and the Harper government have delayed action to combat climate change, refusing to listen to the views of the overwhelming majority of Canadians, 75 percent of whom are embarrassed by Canada’s inaction,” said Cameron Fenton, a student involved in the sit-in. “They need to urgently push for a just, ambitious, and binding deal in Copenhagen with science-based targets, which takes direction from the voices of those most directly impacted by the climate crisis.”

According to the latest report by the IPCC, to have a 50% chance of preventing runaway climate change, the developed nations must collectively reduce their emissions by 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020, though recent scientific studies indicate that even these targets may be too weak and that catastrophic climate change will only be prevented by moving towards zero carbon emissions.

“Despite the crisis, the Harper government is obstructing international efforts to stop climate chaos, mainly to protect the expansion of the Alberta Tar Sands, the world’s most environmentally destructive project,” said Kawina Robichaud, another student inside the Environment Committee meeting.  “Their continued failure to act constitutes an crime against humanity, against future generations, and against all forms of life in Canada and around the world.”

Inaction on climate change has already resulted in the death or displacement of millions, with the UN estimating there will be 150 million climate refugees by 2050. The Global Humanitarian Forum found that every year climate change causes 300,000 human deaths, severely impacts 325 million people, and causes economic losses of US$125 billion.

“Letter writing, phone calls, and rallies have not compelled the Government to take the climate crisis seriously, so we are turning to peaceful civil disobedience, ensuring youth in this country do our part to help solve the greatest crisis of our time,” said Cameron Gray, a spokesperson outside Parliament. “The Canadian government must take responsibility and curb its reckless greenhouse gasses pollution, or my generation will have to suffer the consequences of its inaction.”

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Photos to be online at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45370064@N07/

Information about the call for civil disobedience for climate justice, as well updates on actions that took place across Canada:
https://canadaclimatejustice.wordpress.com/

SIXTH CLIMATE JUSTICE SIT-IN BEGINS

PEOPLE STAGE PEACEFUL SIT-IN FOR CLIMATE LEADERSHIP AT THE OFFICE OF MP ANDREW SAXTON

Dec 4, 2009 (North Vancouver, BC) — The sixth of a series of peaceful sit-ins targeting elected officials, tar sands financiers, and the coal and tar sands industries began at Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, Andrew Saxton’s North Vancouver constituency office (102 3rd St W) today. 6 people entered the office just after 10:00 AM this morning. They are calling for the Harper government and all parties to immediately commit to world-class, science based GHG emissions targets. They are also requesting that Saxton participate in an on-camera town hall forum with constituents and local youth representatives prior to the end of the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen to explain his party’s position and lack of leadership on the issue.

“We are speaking up to demand that Canada stop obstructing a global climate deal,” said Laura Yates, a constituent of Saxton who is part of the sit-in. “Andrew Saxton and the Harper government must listen to the majority of Canadians and push for a just, ambitious, and binding climate deal that is based in the science and led by the voices of those who are most directly impacted by the climate crisis.”

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, major loss of species, habitat, and ecosystem diversity, with poorer regions and people shouldering the brunt of the damage. 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.

“In an attempt to protect the profits of wealthy oil companies our government has been blocking progress at international climate negotiations” said Sean Devlin. “Continued failure constitutes reckless disregard for the lives and safety of people around the world or “Criminal Negligence” as is defined by Canadian law.”

The sit-in at Andrew Saxton’s office is still ongoing. This is the sixh climate justice occupation of a MP’s office in two weeks. Similar sit-ins were held in: Calgary – Jim Prentice, Edmonton – Rona Ambrose, Toronto – Jim Flaherty, Victoria – Gary Lunn, and Ottawa – John Baird.

Updates on actions taking place across Canada are online at: https://canadaclimatejustice.wordpress.com

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For More Information, Contact:
Laura Yates: (604) 626-9639

FIFTH CLIMATE JUSTICE SIT-IN BEGINS

CITIZENS STAGE PEACEFUL SIT-IN FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE AT THE OFFICE OF JOHN BAIRD

December 3, 2009 (Ottawa, Ontario) — At approximately 10:00 AM today, several citizens entered the constituency office of John Baird, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities. This peaceful occupation follows similar actions that have taken place across Canada in the lead-up to the international climate talks in Copenhagen. The participants are urging the Harper government to take significant action to combat climate change.

“We are deeply frustrated by Canada’s continued foot-dragging in the international climate negotiations, and we fear the consequences of holding back such a critical process will lead to massive human suffering in the years to come,” says Iain Brannigan, a student currently occupying Baird’s office. “We are ashamed and horrified that our country is implicated in such a global atrocity.”

In July of this year the G8 nations, to which Canada is a party, agreed that worldwide temperatures must not exceed 2C above pre-industrial levels if we are to prevent dangerous and unmanageable climate change. According to the latest report by the IPCC, to have a 50% chance of achieving this target, the developed nations must collectively reduce their emissions by 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020. More recent studies indicate that even these targets are too weak.

While Canada has accepted the science and understands the implications, Prime Minister Harper confirmed on Sunday that he will maintain his commitment of a 3% reduction below 1990 levels by 2020.

“This is a slap in the face to the international community,” says Sumeet Tandon, who is part of a growing crowd of demonstrators outside Baird’s office. “Canada’s weak target implies other developed and developing nations must shoulder the burden of Canada’s continued reckless dumping of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Canada’s position is fundamentally obstructionist in the eyes of the international community and is in effect, sabotaging the negotiations process. Knowingly engaging in such an act is wilfully committing murder on a mass scale.”

The participants are demanding that Minister Baird pledge his support for strong, science based emissions reduction commitments of at least 25% below 1990 levels. They also want Mr. Baird to acknowledge that those least responsible for climate change are also the most vulnerable. Additionally, the participants are asking Minister Baird to hold a public town hall meeting, to explain why his government has not acted on climate change.

“We’ve written letters, held rallies, made phone calls, and yet the Harper government refuses to listen,” says Natasha Peters, a student at the University of Ottawa. “The current government won’t be around thirty years from now, but my generation will have to suffer the consequences of their inaction. We are running out of time and so we must engage in peaceful civil disobedience.”

The sit-in at John Baird’s office is still ongoing. Members of the public are invited to join the demonstrations outside Minister Baird’s office at 2249 Carling Avenue, Ottawa Ontario.

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For More Information, Contact:
Iain Brannigan: (613) 668-7275
Sumeet Tandon: (613) 883-2396
Photos online at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45205592@N05/?saved=1

FOURTH CLIMATE JUSTICE SIT-IN UPDATE

MINISTER LUNN TOO “BUSY” TO MEET WITH CONSTITUENTS

Dec 2, 2009 (Victoria, BC) — While staging a peaceful sit-in for climate leadership at the office of Minister Gary Lunn today, representatives from the group Islanders for Climate Justice spoke with the Minister on the phone.  They invited Lunn to participate in an on-camera town hall forum with constituents and local youth representatives prior to the end of the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen, to explain why the Canadian government is not committing to a fair, ambitious and binding global climate treaty.

Lunn refused to come and discuss climate issues with his constituents, saying that he didn’t have the time.  This is just one more example of how his government is not accountable to its people on the issue of climate change.  75% of Canadians are embarrassed by Canada’s lack of action on climate change.  It’s time for the Canadian government to stop blocking the international negotiations and commit to a fair and binding treaty.

Supporters outside the sit-in handed out information and spoke with local residents throughout the day.  Over 80% of the residents spoken to on the streets of Sidney want to see more climate leadership from the Harper government.

The offer is still open to host a town-hall dialogue with Minister Lunn.  Islanders for Climate Justice will continue to call on Lunn to be accountable to his constituents.

LETTER TO MINISTER LUNN
FROM ISLANDERS FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE

December 2, 2009

Honourable Minister Lunn:

We are holding a sit-in at in your constituency office today because the Conservative Government is stalling progress to build a just, meaningful, and binding climate treaty this December in Copenhagen.

Inaction on climate change is already displacing and killing millions, and sending many into poverty.  The UN estimates there will be 150 million climate refugees by 2050. In Canada, warmer temperatures have already ravaged BC’s pine forests. Our Arctic peoples face the complete transformation of their landscape and way of life. Across the country, the increasing severity and frequency of climate caused events like droughts and flooding will impact our food production and livelihoods. Canada’s children face a future where much of our living systems have collapsed, and they will be forced to shoulder a burden of immeasurable injustice.

We call on you Minister Lunn to publicly commit to do everything in your power to meaningfully and fairly address the global climate crisis.

We call on you Minister Lunn to make sure the Canadian Government supports a just, meaningful, and binding climate treaty this December in Copenhagen.

We call on you Minister Lunn to publicly commit to pass the Climate Change Accountability Act, which calls on Canada to drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and do its’ part to solve climate change.

We call on you Minister Lunn to be accountable to your constituents.  We invite you to participate in an on-camera town hall forum with constituents and local youth representatives prior to the end of the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen, to explain why the Canadian government is not committing to a fair, ambitious and binding global climate treaty.

Finally, we call on you to publicly commit to getting your government to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.  Climate change is a human rights issue, and First Nations in Canada are feeling climate change worst and first.

The global climate crisis is threatening our future, and humanities’ future.  We have passed the time for inaction.  We demand change. Our struggle for climate justice will continue.

Yours,

Islanders For Climate Justice

FOURTH CLIMATE JUSTICE SIT-IN BEGINS

ISLANDERS STAGE PEACEFUL SIT-IN FOR CLIMATE LEADERSHIP AT THE OFFICE OF MINISTER LUNN

Dec 2, 2009 (Victoria, BC) — The fourth of a series of peaceful sit-ins targeting elected officials, tar sands financiers, and the coal and tar sands industries began at Canadian Minister for Sport Gary Lunn’s Sidney constituency office (9843 Second Street) today.  10 people entered the office just after 10:00 AM this morning.  They are calling for the Harper government and all parties to immediately commit to world-leading cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.  They are also requesting that Lunn participate in an on-camera town hall forum with constituents and local youth representatives prior to the end of the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen to explain his party’s position and lack of leadership on the issue.

“We are speaking up to demand that Canada stop obstructing a global climate deal,” said Kimi Hendess, a constituent of Lunn who is part of the sit-in. “Gary Lunn and the Harper government must listen to Canadians and push for a just, ambitious, and binding climate deal that is based in the science and led by the voices of those who are most directly impacted by the climate crisis.”

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, major loss of species, habitat, and ecosystem diversity, with poorer regions and people shouldering the brunt of the damage.  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 next round of climate negotiations in Copenhagen.  “While many of the world’s leaders are determined to make Copenhagen a success, our government has been blocking progress all along,” said Jackie Larkin.  “Continued failure constitutes an inexcusable crime against humanity, against our children and grandchildren, and against all forms of life, in Canada and around the world.”

“We are calling for what leaders around the world, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, are demanding of Canada: stronger climate leadership and stronger targets”, said Eric Swanson, one of the participants inside the office.   “We call on the government to commit Canada to ambitious, binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to shift to a green economy.”

It’s obvious to many Canadians that the Harper government’s prime objective is to protect the expansion of the Alberta tar sands,” said Swanson.  “Harper and his Ministers speak of the need to be ‘realistic’ and consider the economy.  But in reality, it is inaction that will be our economic downfall.  We have the technology and blueprints to shift to a green economy.  All it takes is political will to make the shift.”

The sit-in at Gary Lunn’s office is still ongoing.

Updates on actions taking place across Canada are online at: https://canadaclimatejustice.wordpress.com.

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For More Information, Contact:

Eric Swanson: (250) 884-0434

Photos online at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22245047@N08/

THIRD CLIMATE JUSTICE SIT-IN BEGINS

PEACEFUL SIT-IN FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE OCCURRING AT FINANCE MINISTER’S OFFICE

For More Information Contact:

Crystal Metham 416-435-3516

Katelyn Blacisk 647 929 2400

POLICE ISSUE ULTIMATUM TO PROTESTERS ORDERING THEM TO LEAVE BY END OF DAY OR BE FORCIBLY REMOVED

November 30, 2009 (Whitby, Ontario) — Police have issued an ultimatum to the seven climate activists inside Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s Whitby office, stating they must leave by the end of the day or else be forcibly removed. To speak directly to one of the protesters currently occupying the office, the following members of People for Climate Justice can be reached via cell phone:

Paul Mero 514-825-9878

Janet McNeill 647-207-3208

The third of a series of peaceful sit-ins staged by a coalition of concerned individuals targeting elected officials, tar sands financiers, and the coal and tar sands industries began at Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s office today, located at: 701 Rossland Road East- Unit 204, Whitby. Seven members of the People for Climate Justice coalition entered the office just after 9:30 refusing to leave, demanding that the federal government act to combat the climate crisis and stem the millions of deaths and displacements that will result from more inaction.

“While our government stalls, millions of people will die or become displaced due to the climate crisis,” said Greenpeace Climate and Energy Coordinator, Dave Martin from inside the office. “If they fail to reach an agreement the Canadian government is saying it does not care about the lives of those currently and most affected by climate change. Minister Flaherty must put pressure on the Government to act and push for a just, ambitious, and binding deal in Copenhagen with science based targets, that is led by the voices of those who are most directly impacted by the climate crisis.”

Inaction on climate change is already displacing and killing millions, and sending many into poverty.  The UN estimates there will be 150 million climate refugees by 2050.

“Despite the growing crisis, the Harper Government is trying to sabotage efforts to solve this global problem, expanding the tar sands rather than leading the push for and financing of real solutions. We will not let our government delay any further while millions die and are displaced. Their behaviour is unacceptable, we need governmental leadership for climate justice now,” said participant, Indra Noyes.

The individuals inside have multiple affiliations. They presented a letter addressed to Finance Minister Flaherty outlining their concerns and demands (Attached). The sit-in of office is ongoing. The police have been called and there is the potentials for arrests. A group of local and regional supporters have also gathered outside of the Finance Minister’s office.

“Letter writing, rallies, meetings, and phone calls are all important actions, but our Government’s inaction indicates that these tactics are not enough. We must step up the pressure so we are engaging in peaceful civil disobedience, like those before us, to ensure we do our part to solve the greatest environmental threat of our time,” stated former constituent Janet McNeill.

For photos of the action, see http://www.flickr.com/photos/canadaclimatejustice

Information about the call for civil disobedience for climate justice, as well as updates on actions set to take place across Canada in the coming weeks is online at:
https://canadaclimatejustice.wordpress.com/

DEMAND LETTER:

Honourable Minister Flaherty:

We are holding a sit-in at in your constituency office today because the Conservative Government is stalling progress to build a just, meaningful, and binding climate treaty this December
in Copenhagen.

Inaction on climate change is already displacing and killing millions, and sending many into poverty.  In Canada, climate change is harming the land and lives of indigenous communities in the Far North.
Globally, recent declines in food production due to climate-catalyzed droughts, is causing food shortages in some poor countries and escalating global hunger.  Climate caused events like floods, melting glaciers, and sea level rise, are forcing millions to permanently flee their homes, from Pacific islanders to subsistence farmers in India. The UN estimates there will be 150 million climate refugees by 2050.

We call on you Minister Flaherty to publicly commit to do everything in your power to meaningfully and fairly address the global climate crisis.

We call on you Minister Flaherty to make sure the Canadian Government supports a just, meaningful, and binding climate treaty this December in Copenhagen.

We call on you Minister Flaherty to publicly commit to pass the Climate Change Accountability Act, which calls on Canada to drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and do its’ part to solve climate change.

Finally, we demand that you publicly commit to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.  Climate change is a human rights issue, and First Nations in Canada are feeling
climate change worst and first.

The global climate crisis is threatening our future, and humanities’ future.  We have passed the time for inaction.  We demand change.

Yours,

People For Climate Justice

SECOND CLIMATE JUSTICE SIT-IN BEGINS

CITIZENS OCCUPY RONA AMBROSE’S EDMONTON OFFICE
CALL FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE IN LEAD-UP TO COPENHAGEN TALKS

November 25, 2009 (Edmonton, Alberta) — The second of a series of peaceful sit-ins targeting elected officials, tar sands financiers, and the coal and tar sands industries began at 11:00 am at Labour Minister Rona Ambrose’s Edmonton constituency office (6801 170 St.) today. 10 people entered the office and have staged a peaceful sit-in – refusing to leave until the federal government commits to combating the climate crisis and stems the deaths and displacements of millions that will result from further inaction. The occupation follows a similar occupation that was held on Monday at Environment Minister Jim Prentice’s office in Calgary.

“While our government delays millions of people will die or become displaced due to the climate crisis. By stalling and blocking progress the Canadian government is saying it doesn’t care about the lives of those currently and most affected by the climate crisis,” said Martin Tweedale, one of the people occupying the office. “Rona Ambrose must put pressure on the Government to act and push for a just, ambitious, and binding deal that listens to the science, and is led by those most directly impacted by the climate crisis.”

Inaction on climate change is already displacing and killing millions, and sending many into poverty. The UN estimates there will be 150 million climate refugees by 2050.

“Canada’s economy is being left behind, our environment is being decimated and we are telling those most vulnerable that their lives don’t matter. Rona Ambrose should be investing in green jobs not carbon intensive industries like the tar sands. The US government invested 14 times more per person in renewable energy than Canada last year,” said Keely Kidner. “We’ve held rallies, phone-ins, flash mobs, we’ve written and talked to our MP’s and nothing has changed. Now we are taking the next step, in the tradition of Gandhi and the Civil Rights Movement to do our part to solve the greatest environmental threat of our time.”

The sit-in is still ongoing. The police have been called and there is potential for arrest.

Information about the call for civil disobedience for climate justice, as well as updates on actions set to take place across Canada in the coming weeks is online at:
https://canadaclimatejustice.wordpress.com/

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For More Information Contact:
Keely Kidner: 780 695 9057
Martin Tweedale: 780 490 8015

FIRST CLIMATE JUSTICE SIT-IN BEGINS

CITIZENS STAGE PEACEFUL SIT-IN FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE AT THE OFFICE OF MINISTER PRENTICE

November 22, 2009 (Calgary, Alberta) — The first of a series of citizen-organized peaceful sit-ins targeting elected officials, tar sands financiers, and the coal and tar sands industries began today at Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice’s Calgary constituency office. Six people – five of whom are constituents of Minister Prentice – entered the office just after 10:00 AM refusing to leave, demanding that the Harper government and all parties act to combat the climate crisis and stop the millions of deaths and displacements that will result from more inaction on global warming pollution.

“While our government delays, millions of people will die or become displaced as a result of global warming. People are already dying and losing their homes due to the impacts of global warming. By continuing to block progress on a global deal to solve climate change, the Harper government and many of Canada’s other political leaders are saying they don’t care about the lives of those currently and most affected by the climate crisis,” said David Wilson, a constituent of Minister Prentice who is part of the sit-in. “Jim Prentice and the Harper government, as well as opposition leaders, must listen to Canadians and push for a just, ambitious, and binding climate deal that listens to the science, and is led by the voices of those who are most directly impacted by the climate crisis.”

The participants are calling for Minister Prentice to commit Canada to taking a first step toward climate justice be pledging to reduce global warming pollution by at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 – the minimum the science says is necessary to have a chance at avoiding the worst impacts of global warming. This pledge must come before the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen this December to ensure that Canada stops blocking a global climate deal.

Inaction on climate change is already displacing and killing millions, and sending many into poverty.  The UN estimates there will be 150 million climate refugees by 2050.

“Despite the growing crisis, the Harper Government is trying to sabotage efforts to solve the challenge of global warming, expanding the tar sands rather than leading the push for real solutions,” said Russell Charlton. “Letter writing, rallies, meetings, and phone calls are all important actions, but our Government’s inaction indicates that these tactics are not enough. We must step up the pressure, so we are engaging in peaceful civil disobedience, like those before us in the civil rights and other great movements, to ensure we do our part to solve the biggest environmental and economic threat of our time.”

The sit-in of Jim Prentice’s office is still ongoing. There is the potential for arrests.

Information about the call for civil disobedience for climate justice, as well updates on actions set to take place across Canada in the coming weeks is online at:
https://canadaclimatejustice.wordpress.com/

-30-

For More Information, Contact:
David Wilson: (403) 481-7159
Russell Charlton: (403) 399-2179

Help with legal costs:

You can also send a check directly to:

Donate. Legal fees can be expensive; let’s share the load.   Donate to the People For Climate Justice Legal Defence Fund
(please write this in the memo of your check)
Checks can be written to:
Greenspiration
214 Macdonell Ave
Toronto, ON, M6R 2A8

3 Responses to “ACTION UPDATES”

  1. I took action, Rachelle. I contacted Canada Climate Justice to see if there is anything planned for Vancouver. I need to meet some people so I can put together ” a Wowwy”

    Shirley

  2. This is great.
    We do need direct action because the Harper gov’t is not a strong leader..or any leader at all when it comes to truly important issues such as the climate crisis.
    If there are any more events in Calgary please let me know. I really want to get involved.
    Thank You

  3. Hi, I’m with Friends of Meadowlily Woods, London, ON. What you are doing with peaceful civil disobedience is waking up the sleeping giant that is the conservative party. This is GREAT! They reach for their donuts…and there you are! -reminding them that their blatant inaction and ignorance regarding our ensuing climate crisis must be addressed. NOW.
    Municipalities across the country could do a great deal to mitigate many pollutant’s effects with binding bylaws where landscaping is concerned. More trees and shrubs should be planted – not fewer’ like I have noticed (with alarm).
    Many new developments are being granted variances that minimize plantings in favor of larger parking lots, larger signage and the like. Those tiny green strips of lawn are ridiculous. The trees, if existent, often die within these parking lots because birds won’t venture into them when they are so far apart. Magna in St. Thomas has some that are only 20′ apart and each one has at least one nest. Birds are everything to the health of trees, and the trees, as many know, oxygenate the air and filter both air and soil of pollutants.
    We should phone our local politicians and demand greater accountability. Ask them what they are doing to help the environment. After the ‘ums and ers’ tell them you want more natural landscaped areas and green spaces. Manicured parks should have naturalised areas. We are losing way too many species and hundreds are on the endangered species lists. I saw only 2 honeybees this year! Create raised gardens wherever you can. They require less water, provide more rooting area, grow larger more abundant veggies, are easy to weed, and shelter toads that will check on your plants daily for pests – so you don’t have to use harmful pesticides. These are a few things individuals can do that will make a positive impact while polititians are deciding what flavor of donut to eat. (Shame on Harper for walking out on a climate conference to run to Timmies donut shop). Keep calling your political leaders to check up on their progress. Vote and rally for the ‘green’ ones. Visit David Suzuki’s website for more info on what you can do and as a group.
    Friends of Meadowlily Woods halted the development of a WalMart and several other bigbox stores near an ‘environmentally significant area’ (ESA). We had to pour over dubious written documents and sift out the truth. We then presented our findings, a petition with over 1000 signatures, our beautiful photos of the area, and spoke of our passion for this great natural area and the importance of letting remain unfettered. We want the ESA to expand and have an area where rare plants will attract rare species of butterflies and birds. Best of Luck in your Vital Endeavours!

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