Tag Archives: Climate Change

Local chapter disappointed with federal government pipeline approval


November 29, 2016

For Immediate Release


The Thunder Bay Chapter of the Council of Canadians wishes to respond with grave disappointment to Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement today (November 29/16) of the approval of 2 pipeline projects in Canada.

When this government was elected, we, along with many other Canadians, regarded them with cautious optimism, waiting to see which of their many election promises they would keep.  Today, they have disappointed and angered us with the cabinet approval of the Kinder-Morgan pipeline proposal to carry bitumen from Alberta through Vancouver to the Pacific Ocean, and the approval of Line 3 which is a smaller pipeline to carry Alberta oil to Wisconsin in the USA.

During the election, Mr. Trudeau promised, among other things:

  1. A revamped National Energy Board and a renewed process for reviewing energy proposals.
  2. Climate leadership, to make Canada a climate-positive force in the world;
  3. A new, respectful alliance with indigenous people in Canada, respecting their rights to consultation.
  4. Development which would bring many more new jobs to Canada while guaranteeing Canadians’ health and safety and the environment.

With today’s announcement, Mr. Trudeau has broken every one of those promises.

To quote the youth who marched on Ottawa in October “Climate Leaders Do Not Build Pipelines”.  Since his election, Mr. Trudeau and his Environment and Climate Change Minister have repeatedly used “get our products to market’ almost as a mantra.  Many of us were unable to figure out how this fit with the climate leadership we had been promised both pre-election and in the signing of the Paris agreement.  These pipelines are only needed to allow production in the Tar Sands to expand.  They have sufficient pipeline capacity to carry present production to market now.  This expansion will unleash a whole tidal wave of carbon emissions on the world, in the production of, the shipping of, the refining of, and the burning of this extra amount of very carbon-heavy fossil fuel.

Many indigenous communities from all across the country and particularly in BC have expressed their opposition to pipeline development. This opposition continues to grow: there were more signatories today to the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.

This does not look like a respectful new relationship with indigenous people.

There is a great deal of research which indicates that the investment of money in a green economy, from developing alternative energy sources to better insulating homes to protecting eco-systems, and so on.  Estimates are as high as 15 jobs in a green economy to 1 job in the fossil fuel industry for a comparable investment.  Green economy jobs nor only provide worthwhile employment, they protect the environment and the health and safety of the population.


We are extremely disappointed in these pipeline announcements today, and will continue to struggle against pipeline development and Tar Sands expansion in the days to come.

  • 30 –


Contacts: Ruth Cook




Action Alert: Local chapter calls on Trudeau to stop pipeline reviews

The Council of Canadians Thunder Bay chapter is calling on the Trudeau government to halt existing pipeline reviews, reported in the Chronicle Journal.

To keep pressure on the Trudeau government to stop the flawed pipeline reviews, please add your name to our Keep your promises, Liberals: Stop pipeline reviews action alert.

Energy East song and dance: a statement about pipelines, trade deals, and corporate dominance

Hundreds attend climate walk, putting a local lens on a global issue

Thunder Bay —  Sunday’s climate walk drew an amazing local response, attracting 200 people who marched from Hillcrest Park to downtown Port Arthur for the screening of “This Changes Everything”, a film by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis, based on the book by the same name authored by Naomi Klein.


“We are so pleased to have had such a great turnout here, and to be part of such a huge movement worldwide is so exciting.  This is a people’ s movement which our leaders cannot ignore: we hope that it will contribute to positive, clear and binding results at the COP21 in Paris,” said Ruth Cook, chair of the Thunder Bay Council of Canadians.


From Avaaz.org:

Across the world, Sunday’s Global Climate March broke records as the largest climate mobilization in history! From Sao Paulo to Sydney, 785,000 people shook the ground in over 2,300 events in 175 countries, united in one voice calling for a 100% clean energy future to save everything that we love. It was front page media worldwide, and the impact is already being felt at the summit in Paris.


People’s Climate Walk: March in Solidarity on Nov 29th


March in solidarity this Sunday, November 29 for the People’s Climate Walk! This Thunder Bay event will be one of thousands across the globe on the eve of the Paris UN Climate Conference. We hope to see you there to show the importance of local involvement in global events.

Meet at Hillcrest Park at 1 pm. By 1:15 pm we’ll walk to Paramount Theatre on Court Street for a screening of Avi Lewis’s film, This Changes Everything at 2 pm (walk participants get priority entry). The film will be followed by a discussion focused on the needs of our collective future.

Energy East pipeline could leak up to 2.6 million litres/day undetected: report

On September 2, the Council of Canadians launched a new report on the Energy East Pipeline that predicts a 15% chance per year of a rupture based on TransCanada’s recent rupture record.

View the report here:  http://canadians.org/energyeast-15percent

MEDIA RELEASE: Thunder Bay City Council defers vote to oppose Energy East

August 31, 2015    

Thunder Bay City Council Defers Vote to Oppose Energy East 

The bid to have Thunder Bay City Council formally oppose the proposed Energy East Pipeline, a reckless plan by TransCanada Pipelines to ship diluted bitumen from the Tar Sands 4600 km across Canada, was delayed tonight. Councillor Iain Angus moved to defer a decision on the resolution.

“We find it puzzling that Iain Angus moved to defer the motion, claiming that because the TCP application to the National Energy Board was incomplete it would be improper to vote to oppose Energy East,” said CUSP’s Peter Lang. “Almost a year and a half ago, long before the TCP application was ever even made, Angus led NOMA to publicly support the pipeline.”

“What’s most troubling to me,” said Paul Berger from CUSP, “is that the Councillor who moved to defer has been featured on TransCanada’s website promoting the pipeline. We need to ask Mr. Angus if he represents his constituents or TransCanada Pipelines.”

Ruth Cook from the Council of Canadians said:

“there is overwhelming public opposition to this pipeline plan; tonight, we’re disappointed that City Councillors deferred to the wishes of a multi-billion dollar corporation. We are happy, though, that Councillors spoke strongly of their duty to protect the environment. We are also inspired that there was talk of the need to move to clean energy. We expect the motion to pass when it comes back before Council.”

The motion came almost six months after a coalition of five citizen’s groups made a deputation to Council urging them to oppose the pipeline because spills are inevitable and because it would facilitate the expansion of the Alberta Tar Sands, adding greenhouse gas to the atmosphere equivalent to putting 7 million cars on the road.

“It’s a bit astounding,” said Paul Berger from CUSP, “that TransCanada Pipelines – a company that can’t even submit a complete project file to the National Energy Board – spoke to Council right before the vote and were unable to answer elementary questions about the project. Their spin continued though. The spokesperson claimed there were only minor incidents on the Keystone pipeline, a line that leaked 12 times in its first year of operation. The leaks included an 80,000 litre spill near Millner, North Dakota in 2011. It was reported to TCP by a landowner.”

TransCanada Pipelines has an abysmal safety record,” said Elysia PetroneReitberger from FossilFree Lakehead. “About once a year there’s a major leak or explosion in northern Ontario on the aging natural gas pipeline that would be converted. We should have no confidence that dilbit can be safely transported when the product the pipeline was designed for leaks and explodes so regularly.”

“We know what we need to know about this pipeline and this company,” said Scott Harris from Environment North. “Waiting will not change the climate change implications of Energy East and TransCanada Pipeline’s infrastructure will not miraculously stop leaking and exploding. We live here. We will be here when the motion comes back to Council for their vote.”

Over 800 citizens signed a petition asking City Council to oppose the Energy East pipeline conversion and community groups, including the Thunder Bay & District Labour Council, wrote urging Council to oppose the pipeline conversion. A rally outside City Hall just prior to the meeting confirmed citizen opposition to the pipeline with 130 people linking arms in symbolic solidarity with citizens groups across the country. Sixty-five people filled the visitor’s gallery and overflow room to watch the vote.

The coalition groups include: Environment North, Ontario Nature, CUSP – Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet, Thunder Bay Chapter Council of Canadians, and Fossil Free Lakehead.

Coming Together to Defend our Climate and our Community

The message was clear at today’s community climate change rally: we need to work together in the fight against climate change. And the first step to working together is coming together which is exactly what 100 people did at Hillcrest Park from 1-2 pm. Community members, Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet (CUSP), the Thunder Bay Chapter of Council of Canadians, Thunder Bay Leadnow, Thunder Bay Idle No More, and politicians Bruce Hyer and Andrew Foulds were all part of the crowd that gathered to show their concern about climate change and to take action.

People gathered at the Climate Rally at Hillcrest Park, November 16th 2013

People gathered at the Climate Rally at Hillcrest Park, November 16th 2013

The Thunder Bay rally was themed around climate superheroes that defend our community against climate change. The Pipe-Cleaner, also known as Natalie Gerum and the event organizer, was one of the many dressed-up superheroes that showed up. “The purpose of today is for Thunder Bay to join a national day of action called Defend our Climate, Defend our Communities,” explained Natalie.

The event was part of a larger movement that took place from coast to coast today. Over 130 communities across Canada gathered to show opposition to reckless pipeline projects, tar sands expansion, and runaway gas emissions that is changing our climate. With government decisions on pipelines expected in the coming months, this nation-wide day of action was organized to send a clear message.

Erin Bottle from Mishkeegogamang First Nation had a very strong voice today as she sung traditional songs calling on our human family to unite in this time of crisis. “I came here to support love, to support humanity and to bring a strong message that to protect this Earth we have to work together,” said Erin. “We have to put down our fear and misunderstanding of each other to learn from each other and respect each other. All Nations have gifts, all Nations have strength, and together we become a strong human family.”

Erin Bottle singing at the Climate Rally

Erin Bottle singing at the Climate Rally