Blog Post: By now you’ve likely heard all about how the RCMP and CSIS have been gathering information on environmental groups opposed to oilsands developments and projects like Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. It’s enough to send a shiver down your spine. But hey, coming from a government that once branded environmentalists as “radicals,” we can’t say it’s a huge surprise. The real kicker is that the fair and open environmental review process Ecojustice and our clients have placed our faith in may have been a pipe dream all along. Records obtained by a journalist under the Access to Information Act, as reported in the Vancouver Observer, suggest that the RCMP and CSIS gathered intelligence on groups opposed to oil and gas development — groups like our client ForestEthics Advocacy — and characterized them as a potential security risk in emails to members of the National Energy Board (NEB).
Blog Post: 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben will soon publish an article in Rolling Stone about President Obama and Keystone XL that I hope you will take some time to read. It’s an important reflection on President Obama’s climate legacy thus far, and essential reading as we all prepare for the home stretch of the fight against Keystone XL. You can read it on the Rolling Stone website when it comes out, and when you do please give your feedback on what our next steps to stop the pipeline should be. It comes down to this: The President’s actions speak louder than his words. And it’s time for our actions to speak louder too. In this article, Bill starts a conversation that needs your input.
Blog Post: A coalition of organizations and grassroots groups have raised over $30,000 in 20 days to help fund the Tar Sands Trial (thetarsandstrial.ca). The lawsuit, which currently alleges over 17,000 treaty violations against the terms of Treaty 6, was initiated by the community of the Beaver Lake Cree in 2008.
Blog Post: I love my country. And in my eyes, there isn’t anything much more patriotic than fighting for the interests of Canadian citizens. I’ve argued that after 25 years of oilsands development, Albertans should have something to show for it — not be facing budget crises and closing hospital beds; that Albertans aren’t collecting a fair share of resource revenues; that we should develop resources at a responsible pace that doesn’t cause rampant inflation, undermining Canadians’ quality of life and hurting other sectors of the economy; that we should prioritize Canadian energy security (half of Canada is currently dependent on foreign oil). And I’ve agreed with the Alberta Federation of Labour that exporting raw bitumen and 50,000 jobs to China doesn’t make sense for Canadians. Now, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but it’s a stretch to portray any of those statements as unpatriotic or radical.
Blog Post: With coal often as the elephant in the room at the international climate talks, the Canadian province of Ontario has a good news story that shows important leadership in tackling climate change. Ontario is about to become the first jurisdiction in North America to move to zero coal. The province is shutting down its remaining coal-fired power plant and introducing a new law to keep it that way. Coal remains the dominant source of climate destroying carbon emissions world-wide. We can’t keep that up and tackle climate change. Countries from the United States to India and China are tackling how to deal with coal’s air and climate pollution. Ontario’s move shows that we can have a healthy, growing economy with good access to energy through alternatives as energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Blog Post: Oilsands production is expected to surpass two million barrels per day this year. Approved production exceeds this amount by nearly three times; planned projects by nearly five. In its rush to build new projects and ramp up production, the oilsands industry is driving an unfamiliar road with its foot jammed on the gas pedal — regardless of what turns or hazards may lie ahead. This full-speed-ahead approach doesn’t necessarily serve the industry’s best interests, increasing costs for construction materials and labour, and overwhelming the existing infrastructure needed to move the product to market. But it carries even more risk for Alberta.
Blog Post: My experience with Jeff reinforces that the first step in building volunteer leaders is to identify a prospect pool of potential leaders to sit down with to have a one-on-one meeting. Those one-on-one meetings are key for any organizer to start building a public relationship with potential leaders. Organizers can then build on those relationships with leaders through house parties, outreach, trainings and other leadership development opportunities. A general rule of thumb is that it takes 8-10 one-on-one meetings to identify a leader.
Blog Post: Giant artwork depicting the Canadian tar sands and the devastation being caused to ecosystems, species and First Nations communities launched by street felt-artist Lucy Sparrow outside Canada House in Trafalgar Square. Street felt-artist Lucy Sparrow today unrolled an ambitious artwork at the annual Canada Europe Energy Summit outside Canada House in Trafalgar Square, as Canadian minister Joe Oliver met with the UK government, the CEO of BP, Bob Dudley, and other major players in the tar sands industry to discuss undermining EU climate legislation, the Fuel Quality Directive, to open up global markets to Canada’s highly-polluting fossil fuels.