This blog was written by members of Stop Energy East Halifax
NDP MP and environment critic Megan Leslie recently sent postcards to all her constituents asking them to support the NDP’s Climate Change Accountability Act. Today, just after NDP leader Tom Mulcair boasted his continued support for a ‘west-to-east pipeline’, a dozen organizers from Stop Energy East Halifax brought her almost 200 signed postcards with the added message: you can’t lead on climate and support Energy East.
As we stood on Gottingen Street with our banners and bundles of postcards, people stopped to ask questions and take pictures, and drivers slowed down and honked in support as they rolled by. Ms. Leslie kindly accepted our postcards, thanked us for our work on this issue, and then replied with the party line: they are thinking about energy security (spoiler alert: Energy East will provide none), they’re in favour of giving the National Energy Board an overhaul (right now the NEB doesn’t even look at climate impacts of proposals or scrutinize intervener submissions), they want to beef up carbon pricing and royalties (which doesn’t guarantee that bitumen will stay in the ground). One thing that stood out about our meeting, and the coverage of Mulcair’s announcement Thursday, was about the impact the climate justice movement is having on Canadian politics.
Leslie said she thinks it’s important to fight fossil fuel projects in a collective way, not a project-by-project basis. We couldn’t agree more – we need a strong, united, and ever-growing climate movement to sustain the fights against pipelines, fracking, tankers, and the fossil fuel industry’s influence on our governments and economy. More good news: we’re gaining traction.
While we’re not impressed that Mulcair and Leslie are still talking about this pipeline as a possible energy security solution and regulating away the climate impacts, we are impressed that this conversation has turned almost entirely into one about the climate. This would not be the case if not for the hard work and coordination of local groups like Stop Energy East Halifax and countless others across the country, and the organizations that support us like 350.org, The Council of Canadians, and Environmental Defense. Our movement is growing in size and in power. As a federal election looms, MPs and party leaders should pay attention – we’re looking for leaders who will help us stop Energy East. Who those leaders will be is up them.