First Nations unite against tar sands

More than 50 Indigenous nations across North America have rallied together to sign a historic treaty alliance against tar sands expansion in their traditional territory. They want to prevent a pipeline/train/tanker spill from poisoning their water and to stop the tar sands from increasing its output and becoming a bigger obstacle to solving the climate crisis.  This historic indigenous alliance greatly improves our chances of defeating government plans to expand tar sands production. Reprinted from National Observer – SW

by Elizabeth McSheffrey 

Sept. 22 — The thunderous pounding of Indigenous drums echoed in the air on Thursday as more than 50 Indigenous nations across North America rallied together to sign a historic, pan-continental treaty alliance against oilsands expansion in their traditional territory.


Logo for pan-continental  Indigenous Treaty Alliance

The collaboration, formalized at simultaneous ceremonies in Quebec and B.C., aims to block all proposed pipeline, tanker, and rail projects affecting First Nations land and water, including TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion, Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, and Enbridge Northern Gateway.

At the signing on Musqueam land in Vancouver, the lineup of chiefs waiting to put their names down filled up an entire room. It was a powerful ceremony, and participants clad in the regalia of their nations travelled from across B.C. and northern Washington to be part of the growing movement.

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Climate crisis and respect for Mother Earth

The following talk was given by Suzanne Weiss and John Riddell at Glen Rhodes United Church, Toronto, September 18, 2016.

Suzanne Weiss: What will Toronto’s weather be like thirty years from now? A study commissioned by Toronto City Hall says climate change will hit our city hard. Within thirty years:

  • Extreme rain storms will be three times heavier.
  • Days with extreme heat will be five times more frequent.
  • The need for air conditioning will be six times greater.

And that is only the beginning.


Toronto flooding 2013 

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Tar Sands Pipelines: Three victories and a big step forward

September 12, 2016: During the ten days, protectors of water and the environment have scored victories over three dangerous tar sands pipeline projects:

VICTORY 1: “Sandpiper” – On September 2, Enbridge Inc. abandoned its proposed $2.6 billion Sandpiper pipeline in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The project had been tied up in the regulatory process for two and a half years.

See: Enbridge Abandons Sandpiper Project

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Calls for action resound at climate consultations

Public debate this summer at 82 climate consultations held across Canada highlighted a basic conflict in the Trudeau government’s climate policy: it wants to reduce fossil-fuel emissions while forging ahead with the pipelines that will lock the country into increased dependence on fossil fuel combustion.

Most of these meetings were sponsored by Liberal members of parliament. They did little to publicize them, revealed little regarding Ottawa’s specific proposals, and evaded the key pipeline issue. The broad participation at these events was mostly to the credit of activist networks that built the meetings and also  organized their town halls on their own when MPs failed to do so. And the thousands of participants succeeded in posing key issues for climate action in Canada today.

People climate consultation Aug 2016

Photo of climate action town hall: Angela Giles, Council of Canadians

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Trudeau’s new pipeline process: worse than National Energy Board?

Against a project that has aroused vigorous protests by resisdents, the Kinder Morgan pipeline company proposes to triple the capacity of a pipeline now pumping 300,000 barrels a day of toxic tar sands oil from Edmonton to Vancouver. – SW

by Will Horter 

First Nations leaders left in the dark. The public, once again, denied the chance to speak. Add to that a clear conflict of interest at the heart of the panel chosen to review Kinder Morgan’s pipeline proposal and you have a recipe for yet more lawsuits and squandered public trust.

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Saskatchewan Husky Oil spill: Lesson for Toronto

Reprinted from – The 250,000 litres of heavy oil and diluent that Husky Oil spilled into the North Saskatchewan River on July 21, 2016 is rightly receiving significant public attention. After all, it is threatening the drinking water of tens of thousands of people living downstream and shutting down the intake of water treatment plants in affected communities, forcing residents to buy bottled drinking water and fill their bathtubs as short-term reservoirs.

Saskatchewan oil spill impact 2016

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Why the ‘We’re all responsible’ line is a climate change cop-out

by  James Wilt

ARTICLE FROM DESMOG: To no one’s surprise, there’s been an awfully wide range of responses to what caused the catastrophic Fort McMurray wildires. Some blame climate change. Others peg it on the El Niño and forest management techniques. Still more suggest that now’s simply not the time to be having such a conversation.

But the one thing that appears to unite all sides is “our” alleged complicity in it as North American consumers.

Human_Fingerprints - 10 indicators - 2016


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Trudeau Climate Plan Challenged at Toronto ‘Town Halls’

by John Riddell

The first two public consultations on climate action organized by Canada’s national government in Toronto, gave strong support to the demands of the People’s Climate Plan (PCP), an alternative to federal climate-related proposals. The PCP’s proposals are listed below.

June 17 Toronto climate consultation

Hundreds of people packed the room at a climate consultation in Toronto on June 17, 2016 [Source:]

The two concepts most frequently voiced at the gatherings, held June 17 and June 24, were support for Indigenous rights and opposition to further expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. Participants listened attentively to the government’s presentations but offered no congratulations for its initial proposals. Continue reading

Canada turns cold shoulder to climate refugees

‘Those least responsible for climate change are likely to suffer the most’- Gabriel Allahuda 

The following talk was delivered at the June 4, 2016, People’s Climate Plan Teach-In in Toronto, an event supported by East End Against Line 9.

by Gabriel Allahuda

My name is Gabriel. I have been a migrant farm worker under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program from St. Lucia for the past four years. I’ve been involved in the greenhouse production of tomatoes and organic sweet peppers.

Migrants in Canada - Gorgia Straight

Migrant workers in Canada – Georgia

I am here in Canada not by choice, but by fate. In 2009, I decided to become self employed in St. Lucia. My income base and business was diversified, and I felt confident that my income would not be affected by any factor and could withstand any external shock. But in 2010 a hurricane destroyed my business and I lost my livelihood. Continue reading