Sunshine Walkers Demand Climate Justice From Government

    OTTAWA, Oct. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - A group of concerned citizens who set out
by foot Saturday, October 4 on a 400 km journey from Toronto will arrive in
Ottawa today, calling for climate justice outside the Prime Minister's Office
at 80 Wellington street at 12:00 noon.
    "No matter who is leading government or the various parties, the climate
and economic crisis must be front and centre over any other issues now," says
the group of walkers who, under the banner 'The Sunshine Walk', wanted to
communicate the deep desires Canadians have for real renewable solutions to
climate change. "But focusing on partisan politics, electioneering or party
rebuilding is equivalent to tilting at windmills instead of building them or
fiddling while Rome burns."
    The walkers -- Dewan Afzal, Rita Bijons and Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu - are
speaking a few hours before and a few doors down from where Stephane Dion will
be holding a press conference at which he is expected to announce he will be
stepping down as Liberal party leader.
    "Our leaders must put aside their petty differences and work together to
implement solutions now," says Mugnatto-Hamu. "We need rapid response on
global warming and better solutions than nuclear and "clean" coal. Truly
sustainable energy sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal and marine power
exist now and we don't need to rely on oil, gas and nuclear, all of which
actually deepen the global climate and economic crises".
    "Canada is repeatedly called upon to meet its commitments to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions," says Afzal. "Our emissions are having a devastating
impact, especially on developing parts of the world. Canadians demand that the
first task of our new government is to create green jobs and green energy."
    On its way to Ottawa, the Sunshine Walk passed through over 50 cities and
towns where walkers met with local candidates during the election to ask them
to sign the KYOTOplus pledge, which includes a promise to support "strong
measures in support of energy conservation and renewable energy" and "urgent
measures to minimize climate change impacts on people and ecosystems here and
    The Sunshine Walkers also asked other concerned citizens to join them
along the way, for some or all of the walk, and to give them their climate
solutions in a letter, drawing or photograph for our next government. These
letters will be delivered to the PMO today.
    "Canadians deserve a government that thinks outside of the tar sands,
toward a more secure energy future for Canada," says Andrea Harden, Energy
Campaigner with the Council of Canadians, one of several organizations
sponsoring the walk, including Greenpeace, the David Suzuki Foundation, the
Sierra Club of Canada, the Climate Action Network, the Canadian Federation of
Students, the Polaris Institute and others.
    "We demand a government that prioritizes the interests of people and the
environment not corporate profits, and plans for a just transition to publicly
funded and delivered sustainable, renewable energy."
    "The world is deserving of true leadership in Canada on climate change,"
says Bijons. "Our government has been using our tax dollars to subsidize dirty
energy like tar sands and nuclear power for too long. We want that money to be
spent implementing clean, sustainable energy solutions instead. It's also time
Canada worked toward facilitating a global shift to alternatives and played a
leadership role in influencing other G8 nations to embrace clean energy."

    Catch up on the Sunshine Walk at

For further information:

For further information: Andrea Harden, Council of Canadians, (613)
218-5800; Kim Kerridge, Toronto Climate Campaign, (647) 221-9169

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Council of Canadians

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