PRESS RELEASE June 22, 2015 A massive Climate March is taking place in Toronto on July 5 but Eganville will beat the GTA to the finish line! There are Ottawa Valley residents who are very concerned about climate change and would like the municipal, provincial and federal governments to take notice, and more importantly, take action. They are hoping that by making a local statement, they will send a message that this part of the country cares about the environment and the legacy they are leaving future generations. With the recent confirmation that 2014 was the warmest year on record, and 2015 is on track to beat that, they feel that people should no longer expect that the effects of climate change will go away. They want people to educate themselves about the true situation and they are willing to help.
During the afternoon of July 3, a Climate March will take place in Eganville as a means of alerting the governments to these concerns and also to help make others aware of how serious the situation really is. A local group, Pipeline Awareness Renfrew County (PARC), is organizing the March and is particularly concerned about the proposed TransCanada Energy East Pipeline crossing Renfrew County and the expansion of the Alberta Tar Sands. Due to the risk of ruptures and irreparable environmental damage that this pipeline could cause, this group is adamant that the risks are great but there are no benefits to Canadians. The diluted bitumen from this pipeline is almost entirely for export so this does not supplement Canada’s domestic oil supply as many believe. An existing natural gas line would be used so we won’t see construction jobs, and in fact, using this line will reduce the supply of natural gas. The economic benefits belong to TransCanada but when a leak occurs, the damage is ours. It could affect lakes, rivers and farmlands and consequently affect drinking water, health, recreation, wildlife, and incomes from industries like logging, farming and tourism. It could cost millions, perhaps billions for clean-up. There is currently no proven method of clean-up for diluted bitumen.
What PARC feels is missing from most discussions is the fact that renewable energy could and should be an industry that is supported by government. Many other countries have invested in research and production of alternative energy sources as a means of meeting their carbon reduction commitments and PARC would like Canada to move in that direction too. Members feel it’s time for Canada to adopt a vision for the future and take immediate action as a responsible partner in ensuring our planet can survive. There is global concern already about Canada’s effect on the rest of the world because of the Tar Sands project and further expansion would mean we are not taking responsibility for our contribution to the climate change crisis. A judge in The Netherlands has just ordered their government to take action to reduce the country’s emissions by 25% within 5 years because climate change poses so much of a danger. He said he “checked all the science that you brought in and you are right and this is such a big problem that the state should do what’s necessary to protect its citizens”.
The invitation is open to everyone to join the March in Eganville. It will start at 1:30 pm at the Tourist Information Centre and will move throughout the village during the afternoon and early evening. The group is offering everyone the opportunity to sign a petition which asks the municipal governments throughout Renfrew County and the County Council to adopt resolutions to oppose the TransCanada Energy East Pipeline. They say that would be an important first step toward responsible action on climate change.