Total Billboard ENG 2

Today famed British journalist and environmentalist George Monbiot wrote an open letter to the people of Canada pleading with us to clean up our act on the environment.  In his usual incisive prose he wrote:

“Canada’s tactics have caused shock and revulsion everywhere. They are dragging your good name through the mud. Stephen Harper and Jim Prentice threaten to do as much damage to your international standing as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney did to that of the United States.”

We are trying George but our government doesn’t listen to the people of this country, only to the oil companies.

  In a recent poll two-thirds of Canadians see climate change as the most important issue facing the planet and there is growing activism trying to convince the government to change its disgraceful position.  Here are just some of the actions taken by  Canadians

Greenpeace and the Indigenous Environmental Network have been waging an extraordinary campaign against development in the Tar Sands with direct action, trips to Europe to inform people there, Petropolis  a brilliant film by one of Canada’s top documentary film makers and protests like the altered billboard below in Edmonton.

Young Canadians disrupted Parliament last month to protest the government’s inaction on climate change after meeting in their hundreds on the issue as part of Power Shift  and thousands of Canadians mobilized across the country on October 24th Day of Action on Climate Change.

Lots of activists have been working hard to let the government know we want action on climate change.  Just today the third of a series of peaceful sit-ins staged by a coalition of concerned individuals who are targeting elected officials, tar sands financiers, and the coal and tar sands industries began at Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s office today, located at: 701 Rossland Road East- Unit 204, Whitby. Seven people entered the office just after 9:30 refusing to leave, demanding that the federal government act to combat the climate crisis and stem the millions of deaths and displacements that will result from more inaction.

And the Pembina Institute joined with one of our banks to do a report on what needs to be done to stem climate change.  They wouldn’t even listen to that.

So I guess Dear George the only thing we can do is come out in even greater numbers on the December 12 International Day of Action and hopefully get rid of our disgusting government (you don’t know the half of it) in the next election.

  But thanks for coming and letting our elite media know that Canada has a black eye around the world.  Maybe if they start shifting on the Tar Sands, the Conservatives might be impacted but I doubt it.  It is amazing how quickly we can move from what was pretty democratic government to a autocracy George.  Any suggestions what we can do about that?

Judy Rebick

Judy Rebick

Judy Rebick is the author of Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political and was the founding publisher of rabble.ca. She also holds the CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy.