QUÉBEC, MONTRÉAL and TORONTO, March 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Representatives of First Nations, unions, environmental organizations, student associations, citizen's groups and social movements came together today to announce a gathering of major importance. The Act On Climate march, to be held in Quebec City on Saturday April 11, will call for action on climate change and pressure our leaders to strongly oppose expansion of the tar sands, the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
Days before the first ministers meeting, which will bring together the premiers of all the provinces and territories to discuss our changing climate, organizers are expecting a pan-Canadian mobilization effort to draw large numbers of people across Canada to the streets of Quebec.
"Climate change is the greatest challenge our generation faces, for ourselves and for future generations," said Joanna Kerr, Director of Greenpeace Canada. "It's high time our leaders accept their responsibilities and put in place ambitious measures to combat climate change. Our provincial representatives must act, and on April 11, in the streets of Quebec, we will show them that they have the support of citizens."
In the wake of the People's Climate March in New York in September 2014, the protests in Lima last December, and in the lead up to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21), the Act On Climate march is a new effort to challenge our leaders - in particular the governments of Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick - to live up to their commitments on climate protection and strongly oppose the expansion of the tar sands and the transport of oil by pipeline and by train.
"We must dismantle the illusion that we have no choice," said Grand Chief Serge Simon. "It's time to make decisions that don't destroy our planet and jeopardize the lives of its inhabitants and the seven generations after them. The route of the Energy East pipeline crosses our territory, the Seigneurie du Lac-des-deux-Montagnes. I hear chatter in the community: people don't want the pipeline."
Alberta already produces almost 2 million barrels of tar sands oil per day. Given the lack of action by the Harper Government on climate change, the provinces must demand the adoption of a national plan to combat climate change. British Columbia has already created a carbon tax, Quebec is establishing a market for carbon in partnership with California and Ontario is slowly but surely weaning itself off of coal. Meanwhile, clean and renewable energies produce more jobs than fossil fuels. Anything is possible!
"One senses a wind of change. Throughout the world, citizens are coming together and taking to the streets to demand that their leaders stop destroying the planet and imposing austerity measures on those who can tighten their belts no further," added Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, author and former spokesperson for the Quebec student movement. "Citizens from across Canada are invited to converge on Quebec City on April 11, where we will need everyone to stand together and demand that the protection of our planet and all its inhabitants be made the priority."
The United Nations says that Canada must act by 2020. That means taking on the largest source of increases in our greenhouse gas emissions: the Alberta tar sands. It has been proven that 85% of the tar sands oil reserves must stay in the ground if we are to stabilize the climate.
"We cannot fight for climate protection while developing extreme oil. We cannot portray ourselves as climate leaders, at the same time as we support pipeline projects like TransCanada's Energy East. This project will cause an increase of 40% in greenhouse gas emissions from the tar sands, the fastest growing source of air pollution in Canada," said Christian Simard, Director-General of Nature Québec. "Our premiers should put themselves on the right side of history and reject dirty energy projects to pave the way for a more just and sustainable future."
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SOURCE Nature Québec
For further information: Peter Louwe, Greenpeace Canada, (778) 228-5404 (mobile), [email protected]; Héloïse Fernandez, Nature Québec : 418 931-1131, [email protected]; Marie-Éve Leclerc, coordinator of the Act On Climate march : 418 655-0763, [email protected]; Manon Dubois, Fondation David Suzuki : (514) 679-0821, [email protected]