100% Possible: Marching together for Climate Solutions and Justice

Originally posted by Avaaz


A consensus is growing around the world that the transition to a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 is not only necessary, it’s 100% possible. It’s a vision for a healthy, diverse economy with low-carbon jobs, that respects Indigenous rights, and stops growing the tar sands and new pipeline infrastructure, and it will lead to a safer, more sustainable, and more just future.

That’s why this November 29, people are gathering in our nation’s capital to send a message to our new government on the eve of their first international meeting – the high profile UN climate summit in Paris. It’s time the politics of climate action caught up with the science.

Join us in Ottawa on November 29 for 100% Possible: Marching Together for Climate Solutions and Justice, and show our government that solutions to the climate crisis are not only real, they are already on their way.

Join Us : www.100possible.ca

To see one PARC member’s reasons for joining this event, see his letter to the editor.

A group of us from Renfrew County plan on attending this event. If you are interested in joining us and car-pooling, please leave a reply to this post or contact us.

Small but Mighty – and Determined to Make a Point

Submitted by Judy Sauve, PARC Member

When PARC members learned that TransCanada was a “gold sponsor” of the 2015 World Freestyle Kayak Championship held in Beachburg, we decided it was important to go there to inform the public. Time was short for organizing but a group came together, gathered up previously used pickets, made some new ones and set up a carpool heading to Beachburg. We discussed en route how difficult it was to do this at an international event because we, like everyone else, instinctively want Canada to make a good impression. But we agreed that our reason for being there outweighed our discomfort.

The event was being held on the Ottawa River, specifically in the whitewater wonders which the media had described as the best natural location in the world for this sport. It is a priceless asset to the region, not only for recreation but it also creates employment. TransCanada’s sponsorship was considered by PARC to be grossly inappropriate because that company proposes to ship oil through the Energy East pipeline which would cross at least 24 waterways draining into the Ottawa River. A spill could potentially destroy this celebrated asset.

Members protested with pickets at the entrance to the event on closing day, September 5. It was encouraging to see many thumbs up as cars entered the grounds, although many others drove by intentionally ignoring the pickets. We didn’t interfere with the flow of traffic getting into the grounds but if windows were down, people were offered pamphlets.

We were told initially that we could stay, provided we remained on the strip between the ditch and the road. We set up and began displaying our pickets. After a while, the chief organizer of the kayak championship came by to talk to us. He clearly wanted us to leave, pointing out that this was just a competition involving amateur athletes. Tricia Darley, our spokesperson and co-founder of PARC, spoke with him and explained that our objection was not with the event but with the TransCanada sponsorship. He said they had donated $5,000 and if they had offered $10,000 he would have accepted it. He also suggested we could donate to the cause! He then gave up and drove away, not happy that we were staying but not interfering with our actions.

We stayed for a couple of hours, feeling by that time that most people had entered the grounds and that we had sent our message. During that time, Tricia completed two media interviews, one with myFM radio and another with COGECO cable. myFM immediately posted a picture and brief story on several websites and as yet, we don’t know when/if the video and interview will be carried on COGECO.

Conclusion? A successful day in getting the word out!

Inappropriate TransCanada Sponsorship for Ottawa Valley Canoeing Event Raises Questions

Originally posted by Environmental Defence on 3 September, 2015

TORONTO, ON – Pipeline company TransCanada is apparently seeking social license for its planned massive oil pipeline along the Ottawa River by sponsoring a major canoe competition. If built, the Energy East tar sands pipeline would create the risk of a major oil spill in the Ottawa valley, threatening the very recreational activities TransCanada is now sponsoring.

TransCanada is a gold sponsor of the 2015 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships taking place near Beachburg, Ontario this week. TransCanada’s sponsorship comes on the heels of similarly questionable grants in communities close to the proposed pipeline route.

“The timing of TransCanada’s sponsorship raises flags, given that the Energy East application is being reviewed by federal regulators,” Environmental Defence Climate Program Manager Adam Scott said. “TransCanada’s sponsorship looks like an attempt to curry favour with Ottawa valley residents – who would be negatively impacted by Energy East pipeline.”

There is a clear pattern of TransCanada sprinkling money on communities along the Energy East route in the months leading up to regulatory hearings:

  • Last year: money donated to Mattawa Township for a new fire truck, controversially asking them to sign a gag order in exchange.
  • May: Kemptville’s Dandelion Festival sponsorship was returned after musicians protested.
  • August: purchased sports equipment for the township of South Glengarry, near Cornwall.

“The question is, are we being bought by TransCanada? This is the second contribution that TransCanada has made in our area financially,” Pipeline Awareness Renfrew County co-founder Tricia Darley said. “Are they trying to buy our municipalities’ votes to have the Energy East pipeline run through our backyard? If so, it’s unethical.”

Pipeline Awareness Renfrew County is planning to gather on the last day of the competition on Saturday, September 5th, highlighting that the Energy East pipeline proposal puts the river in jeopardy and is incompatible with recreational activities like canoeing that depend on clean and healthy rivers.

The attempts by TransCanada come weeks after a critical Ontario Energy Board report on Energy East that highlighted risks to water and widespread local opposition in communities along the pipeline route.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

About Pipeline Awareness Renfrew County (parcrenfrew.org): PARC is a newly-formed grassroots group of citizens in Renfrew County, Ontario concerned about the impacts of the Energy East pipeline.

We Need You on Saturday to Help Protect the Ottawa River

Saturday is the last day of the 2015 ICF Freestyle Canoe Championships on the Ottawa River, near Beachburg, Ontario.  This event is being sponsored in part by TransCanada, the same company that is pushing for the Energy East tar sands pipeline, which would bring 1.1 million barrels a day of thick tar sands oil across many tributaries of the Ottawa River. TransCanada has a terrible safety record and we at Pipeline Awareness Renfrew County feel it’s inappropriate for TransCanada to sponsor an event that depends on clean and healthy rivers.

We are going to take a stand and hand out information at the competition beginning at 10am on Saturday September 5th.

We need you to come join us – will you come out on Saturday morning and help educate people about the Energy East pipeline?

DATE:  September 5th, 2015

TIME:  10:00 am

MEETING PLACE:  22 Fletcher Road (Whitewater Brewery) This is close to Beachburg and Foresters Falls – Look for the folks with picket signs.

Please RSVP here. If you aren’t sure if you can come but there’s a possibility, let us know anyhow so we can send a reminder to you and let you know if any details change.

The Ottawa River is threatened by this proposal and has no voice of its own – help be the voice of the River and come out on Saturday!

Energy East Pipeline Company Sponsoring World Freestyle Kayaking Event

The company proposing to build the Energy East pipeline is sponsoring the 2015 World Freestyle Kayak Championships, held this year on the Ottawa River between Sunday, August 30th and Saturday, September 5th.

We plan to organize activities to point out that the Energy East pipeline is incompatible with recreational activities like whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking that depend on clean and healthy rivers.

According the event’s organizers:

The Ottawa River, upstream of Canada’s Capital, Ottawa, is the country’s top destination for rafting and kayaking. While most of the river has been harnessed for hydro-electric power, there remains the “Rocher-Fendu”, an old French word meaning “split rock”. It’s where the river flows through two billion year old granite bedrock and an island paradise of 175 islands (in high water) creating a whitewater playground.

Check back here soon for details on how you can get involved!

Responses to Our Petition Question: Why Is This Important to You?

We now have over 300 signatures on our combined electronic and paper petition. If you haven’t signed it yet, please do so here.

Here is a “word cloud” of the answers to our question “Why is this important to you?”. You can click on the image to view a larger version. The size of the word indicates how often it was used in responses. This is certainly a diverse and interesting set of answers!

Word Cloud of Petition Responses

Click to enlarge

Say NO to the Energy East Pipeline | Say YES to Jobs, Justice and the Climate

On Friday, July 3, at 1:30pm everyone is invited to join us at the parking lot of the Eganville Tourist Booth for an action to Say NO to the Energy East Pipeline, which is slated to come right through Renfrew County, putting our lands and waterways at risk.

We have signs you can carry, or you can bring your own. This is a family friendly event! We would love to have you join in!

Say NO to Energy East, and Say YES to Jobs, Justice and the Climate!

Renfrew County Councils: Oppose the Energy East Pipeline

We are circulating a petition asking Renfrew County Councils to Adopt a Resolution Opposing the Energy East Pipeline.

It would mean a lot to us if you took a moment to add your name because Energy East carries many risks for Renfrew County, but few benefits.

Pipeline leaks, like what happened in Mayflower, Arkansas and the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, demonstrate the devastating effects a spill would have on our rivers and creeks, on our health and our local economies.

This pipeline proposal is not compatible with a safe climate.

After you’ve signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others.

Thank you!

Eganville Will March July 3 for a Healthy Climate and Greener Economy

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.