WEEK 6: Keep mobilizing from campaign trail to the streets
There have been an impressive and inspiring number of actions on the campaign trail calling on the federal leaders to take real action on climate change and asking that they commit to freezing tar sands expansion since the beginning of the elections in Canada.
Last Tuesday, the sixth week of the campaign begun with yet another interruption on the stage of a federal leader’s rally in Quebec and the media took notice. Three local activists stood behind Mulcair at his Montreal campaign stop to tell him that climate leaders reject pipelines. They had brought with them copies of the scientific study from the Nature journal that states that 85% of Canada’s tar sands, among other fossil fuel reserves in the world, must stay in the ground in order to tackle climate change to try to deliver them to the NDP.
Then, the same day but in Atlantic Canada, Justin Trudeau was faced by a creative intervention during a Fredericton BBQ. Local residents showed up to creatively tell the Liberal leader that he can’t ignore the impacts of the Energy East pipeline – the “whale in the room.” They also delivered two scientific reports to Trudeau’s campaign team: the Nature paper about the need to leave 85% of the tar sands in the ground, and the recent report by the Citicorp bank that explains how the transition away from our fossil-fuel economy makes more economic sense than continuing with the status quo.
A few days later, Stephen Harper was also in New Brunswick and tellingly chose the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John as his campaign stop — where the Energy East pipeline would ship off millions of barrels of oil through the Bay of Fundy. While Harper once again declared his unwavering support to the pipeline and tar sands expansion to a crowd of supporters and the directors of Irving, residents held a rally outside to get heard. The small community of Red Head near Saint John, where the tank farm would be built for Energy East, had mobilized like never before earlier this year and don’t plan on stopping. Hear what they have to say to Stephen Harper stopping by:
These inspiring moments of people taking action have been putting climate change on the agenda, and the Liberal and NDP parties have been taking note and pledging to fight climate change. But they have yet to provide a concrete plan to get there and it will take all of us talking about it to make sure they do.
Over the next two weeks, we have an opportunity to do just that and take the mobilization a step further on the campaign trail. In Calgary, Montreal and Toronto, the three federal leaders will gather for live national debates where we will make sure that they can’t avoid the question of climate change, and have to address the reality of climate science that tells us we need to keep tar sands in the ground to meet our targets. Join actions happening in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
Click here to get involved in a wave of mobilization by the climate movement this fall, and download the bird-dogging toolkit to organize similar actions calling out and questioning party leaders across party lines during the elections campaign!