From Maryam in Toronto:
In the spirit of Fossil Fools day, 13 Cities in Canada have taken action and pulled creative pranks and tricks on tar sands supporters.
8 communities in Canada: London, Toronto, Waterloo, Peterborough, New Westminster (BC), Duncan (BC), and Victoria all targeted RBC as the top financier in dirty tar sands projects. In Waterloo, one indigenous activist was arrested after a banner drop at a local branch of Royal Bank of Canada.
In Montreal, 70 people staged a bike bloc protest shutting down the roads in and out of Montreal’s oil refining sector
with clean, green people power. A banner was hung in front of the Enbridge Trailbreaker Pipeline stating “Changeon le System, Pas le Climat. Trailbreaker=Tar Sands” where cyclists blockaded the road to draw attention to the downstream, destructive effects of the Athabasca Tar Sands. “The east end of Montreal is a seldom seen and discussed region, but it is the largest urban oil refining center in Canada,” says Cameron Fenton, a member of 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.”
In Edmonton and Calgary, local residents delivered “awards” in the shape of Black and Gold ducks to Premier Ed Stelmach and Environment Minister Jim Prentice respectively. In Halifax, local youth called out Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Environment Minister Jim Prentice and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in front of CBC radio for failing to respect the rights of first nations communities affected by tar sands development, and suspending the popular ecoEnergy retrofit program yesterday. “Harper doesn’t grasp the science [of climate change] let alone the moral issues,” says Emily Rideout, student at Dalhousie University. “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.”
“Fossil Fools Day is an international day of action to hold dirty politicians and industries accountable for expanding a fossil fuel industry that is fast destroying our planet and our communities,” said Fenton. “In Canada, the biggest Fossil Fools are tar sands developers, investors and political supporters. It’s time they stop the foolery, stop the tar sands, and start building the green economy we want to leave for the next generation.” The group is calling for a global response to ensure that we respect Aboriginal title and peoples and avoid catastrophic climate change.
“Tar sands projects are destroying our forests, our water systems, and are endangering people in Canada,” says Skye Augustine, student at the University of Victoria. “As a
member of the G8 and the G20, we have the resources to look for alternatives and create a clean, green energy economy that protects people and the planet.”
Worldwide, Fossil Fools Day is promoting strong, just climate legislation, corporate responsibility and a clean renewable energy future. “It is time that Canada cleans up its dirty energy addiction,” said Kimia Ghomeshi, National G20 and Climate Organizer for the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition. ”People in Canada are ready for change. We need to stop providing subsidies to dirty fossil fuel industries, make substantial investments into the renewable energy sector, and provide a just transition for workers in the tar sands. This is what real climate justice looks like.”
In the lead up to the G8 and G20 meetings taking place in Canada in June 2010, climate justice activists are raising the profile of the tar sands industry in Canada as the key reason the Canadian government is refusing to do its fair share to set deep and binding greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and tarnishing Canada’s international reputation as a result. For details of days of action leading up to the arrival of the G20 in Toronto, visit http://g20.torontomobilize.org
For photos, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/climatejusticecanada/
For nomination and action videos, visit www.youtube.com/canadaclimatejustice
For more information on Fossil Fools Day actions, visit http://canadaclimatejustice.wordpress.com/