Author Archives: jwilson

Groups to Selinger at Premiers Meeting: You Can’t Be a Climate Leader and Be Pro Pipeline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 17, 2015

 WINNIPEG – 350.org, Council of Canadians – Winnipeg Chapter, and Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition (MEJC) denounced Premier Selinger’s decision to sign — along with the other Canadian premiers — an agreement that fails to recognize that pipelines and climate leadership don’t mix. The agreement fails to acknowledge the importance of absolute emission reductions and and the need to stop expanding oil infrastructure in Canada.

“Selinger and all of Canada’s Premiers are creating ill-conceived policy,” said Alex Paterson of MEJC. “At this stage in the battle against climate change, incrementalism is not only bad public policy; it is foolhardy. This agreement was an opportunity to say ‘No’ to the proposed Energy East pipeline that threatens Manitoba. Manitobans want to have confidence that Premier Selinger’s climate policies have substance, but to date there no evidence to show us that.”

At the March 2015 leadership convention, Premier Selinger’s party gave him a mandate to demand the National Energy Board’s review of Energy East include the full climate impacts of the tar sands; but government has yet to move on this mandate. The MEJC is concerned that this government is not equipped to lead Manitoba through the perils of a changing climate, to stand up to the fossil fuel industry, or to represent the will of Manitobans.

MEJC and 350.org are denouncing the Canadian Energy Strategy put forward by the Premiers as a step backwards for Canada, Indigenous Peoples, and the climate.

Clayton Thomas-Muller, climate campaigner for 350.org, said the Canadian Energy Strategy pays lip service to climate change and to the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and Y13_7794(1)pointed out that provincial leadership is making the issues worse by ignoring the scientific fact that at least 75% of Canada’s fossil fuel reserves have to stay in the ground.

“Instead of specific commitments on how the provinces plan to address climate change and the marginalization of Canada’s First Peoples, they are set on creating more oil infrastructure that will hard-wire Canada and First Nations to a dirty energy economy for another 50 years,” said Thomas-Muller. “They are in violation of their own laws by not consulting with First Nations on the policy, whose lands and waters will be hit first by the impacts of ruptured pipelines, expansion of the tar sands and rampant climate change.”

“The impacts of climate change are becoming more visible, and can be seen across the country with the increase in extreme weather, forest fires, flooding and droughts,” said Mary Robinson, chair of the Winnipeg Chapter of Council of Canadians. “This affects the health and safety of everyone, yet the strategy presented to us today seems comfortable ignoring the issue and taking us further down the path of an unsustainable future while padding the pockets of Manitoba Hydro and the oil peacewalkbanner530companies.”

MEJC and its allies are specifically concerned with the potential this strategy poses to opening the door to fast track TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline. The pipeline would run within a spill reach of two surface aquifers and the entire length of the Winnipeg aqueduct, and would pass only a few kilometres from Shoal Lake. This is detailed in MEJC’s technical report, which the Premier and all Manitoba MLAs have received but failed to adequately respond to.

“The risks of the Energy East pipeline need to be reviewed in-depth by all regulatory bodies in Manitoba, especially because of the direct danger it would pose to the drinking water supply of the entire city of Winnipeg,” said Paterson.  “It is a complete abandonment of government’s duty to protect the public if the government lets this pipeline go near Shoal Lake or the aqueduct.”

According to MEJC Manitoba Hydro stands to benefit from powering TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline and Enbridge’s line 9 if they are approved. They stand to profit more if they can convince other provinces to agree to east-west hydro transmission lines – some of which could be built to power the world’s dirtiest oil in the tar sands. The Manitoba government, through TomorrowNow, Manitoba’s Green Plan and the crown corporation, position themselves as protectors of the environment; yet in this case, they would be profiting heavily off the production of fossil fuels.

 

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For more information contact:

Clayton Thomas-Muller, Campaigner with 350.org, 613-297-7515

Mary Robinson, Chair of the Winnipeg Chapter of Council of Canadians, 204-803-5416.

Alex Paterson, community organizer with Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition, 204-298-2250.

Opposition to the Tar Sands Expansion Takes to the Streets and Water

DCIM110GOPRO The Winnipeg Paddle and Pedal was a huge success! The bikes and boats brought the message through the city that Canadians should reject TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline and the threat it poses to the land and water.

Read some of the media coverage HERE and HERE

It was part of a nation-wide day of action to oppose the tar sands expansion that declared “We are greater than the tar sands” in 21 different cities across the country.

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1000 Manitobans say NO to Energy East

Today the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition along with the Wilderness Committee - Manitoba Office delivered 1000 signed letters to Premier Greg Selinger asking the Manitoba government to stop Energy East.

We are asking the province to conduct its own review of the project that includes the impacts to climate change, something the National Energy Board will not do. The governments of Ontario and Quebec have already agreed to conduct independent provincial reviews of Energy East.

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Performers Announced for July 4th We > Tar Sands Day of Action Celebration

MUSICAL PERFORMERS:

Jason Tuesday
(Classical guitarist known for his percussive fingerstyle playing. Anishinabe from Lake of the Woods in Ontario.)

Glenn St John & Dan Donahue
(Two well established musicians combine their talents and passion for music and social justice.)

Patrick Simoens
(Singer/songwriter. Front man for Morden Manitoba’s Lakes and Pines)

Winnipeg Raging Grannies
(Activist Grannies who promote social justice through song and humour)

TWIN
(Hypno-Folk Pioneers. Known for touring North America in a canoe. Founded by Dave Fort, former member of Absent Sound)

D-T Massif feat. T’ai Pu
(AKA PuconA is a multi-media spoken word performer committed to “connecting our arts with our lives”)

The Flaming Trolleys
(Everyone’s favourite local marching orchestra which brings collective JOY to children, adults, seniors, plants and all other species alike!)

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Clayton Thomas-Muller
(Of the Mathais Colomb Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba- Organizer, activist, writer, speaker focusing on Indigenous self determination and environmental justice.)

July 4th at Oodena Circle at the Forks - Starting at 11:30 AM

Children’s programming begins! Face painting, art projects, a clown, games and entertainment.

12:00 P.M. Arrival of canoes, kayaks and bikes + entertainment and speakers.

Facebook Event pages for Winnipeg Paddle and Pedal + Celebration.

For more info on the Canada-wide events visit 350.org/july

We > Tar Sands: Winnipeg Pedal and Paddle

July 4th Paddle and Pedal for the Water and the Land
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10:00 AM Gather at the Assiniboine Park Foot Bridge
Prayer Ceremony
 Boat Launch and Bike Parade

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Paddlers will take the Assiniboine River to the Forks! Along the way, they will be greeted and cheered on at each of the bridges along their route.
Pedalers will carry the message through the streets following a route along Portage Avenue to Ragland Road to Wolseley Avenue to Furby to Westminister twisting and turning to Broadway to Main Street to Mahatma Ghandi Way to Israel Asper Way to Oodena Circle.

12:00 PM arrive at Forks for Celebration, Music and Speakers at Oodena Circle. Lots going on there too for people who can’t make the paddle or pedal journey! Children’s programming will start at Oodena Circle at 11:30 AM

RSVP on Facebook

The Oodena Circle event page is HERE

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Report: Energy East pipeline threatens Manitoba water supply

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A new scientific report released today by our alliance of environmental, community, and religious groups shows that TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline would directly threaten the drinking water of more than 850,000 Manitobans, including the entire population of Winnipeg…

Read more Here

 

NEB Chair Peter Watson Urged To Cancel Energy East Review

We paid a visit to the Winnipeg Free Press Cafe to deliver a message to National Energy Board Chair Peter Watson on behalf of 60 Organizations. We were proud to be able to project the voices of people from across the continent opposed to the expansion of the tar sands.

Read the letter we gave to Peter Watson HERE

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After, Watson fielded questions from the Free Press editorial board. Questions like: How can a group with so many connections to the industry it is supposed to regulate ever be perceived as a credible?

Manitobans should be allowed a say in the process of moving fossil fuels across the province. Especially when the NEB refuses to discuss climate change when they review projects. Alex Paterson of the MEJC lays out the importance of this in his editorial printed in the Winnipeg Free Press HERE

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Read coverage of our action in the Free Press News Cafe HERE