Have your say: a call for
ambitious climate action

Open letter to the Honourable Marc Garneau, member of parliament for NDG-Westmount

January 31, 2020

Re: The present climate emergency

Mr Garneau,

We are residents of your riding, some of whom met with you a year ago to express our concerns about climate change. Together with Équiterre and other environmental organizations, we subsequently planned and realized the candidates’ debate about the environment in which you participated on October 3.

Last summer, we learned to our dismay, in an article by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail, August 24, 2019) that Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands production will actually increase from 2020 to 2030, going from 88 MTonnes CO2 to 106! How can this be allowed when our Paris Agreement commitments and your government’s Pan-Canadian Framework oblige us to decrease total emissions each year? And now the Federal government wants to allow a huge new open pit oil sands mine, Teck Frontier, to open in northern Alberta? This is going 180 degrees in the wrong direction – oil sands production should be plateauing and then tapering in the next 10 years.

Alberta could develop hydro power as pointed out by Luc Gagnon in an article in Le Devoir on October 26, 2019 entitled L’Alberta et l’industrie pétrolière dans un cul de sac. And producing oil from oil sands in Alberta will cost more per barrel than oil from the 7 other major oil-producing countries in the world, according to The Economist on November 2, 2019 (Briefing, page 63), making further development a risk to our economy.

In 2019, more than 60% of Canadians voted for parties that promised more ambitious climate action.

We thank you for your successful promotion of electric vehicles . In addition, your government should stop subsidies to fossil fuels, encourage and support solar farms and wind generation in Alberta, and a just transition for coal, oil and gas workers through initiatives such as plastic recycling plants which will become part of the circular economy instead of our present methods of “extraction only”.

In 2019, more than 60% of Canadians voted for parties that promised more ambitious climate action. Now this government must honour those votes while ensuring the reduction of wealth inequalities and a just transition. As the first session of parliament in the new decade begins, we are sharing with you some of our wishes for the planet:

  • Stop the expansion of oil and gas production in Canada
  • Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies
  • Invest more in renewable energy and public transport
  • Protect biodiversity, land, freshwater bodies and oceans
  • Improve the energy efficiency of buildings

Thank you for your attention to our requests. We would appreciate receiving news on the progress of your promises.

We have only one planet.

Elizabeth Robinson, Ville-Marie
Kathryn Aitken, NDG
Emma Despland, Westmount
Megan Durnford, Westmount
Cym Gomery, NDG
Janet Hale, Westmount
Beate Hewel, NDG
Lynn McLauchlin, Westmount
Jean Zigby, NDG

Image: Pixabay

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