Happy New Year! Ontario to be coal-free ahead of schedule/Idle no more goes international
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Happy New Year from CAN-Rac!From record setting global temperatures and Arctic ice sheet melt, to superstorm Sandy and typhoon Boha, it was a year the world will remember for the undeniable impacts of climate change. But 2012 was also a year of historic mobilization across our country. From the Defend our Coast Action to Powershift and Idle No More, Canadians everywhere are more engaged, more passionate and more prepared to fight against climate change and for social and environmental justice.
So as we begin this new year, we will continue to fulfill our resolutions. We must begin to move away from our addiction on fossil fuels and transition towards safe, clean and renewable energy. We will continue to support provincial leadership on climate change and demand meaningful federal action from the government and all political parties.
We look forward to new challenges and new opportunities to engage with our diverse members and allies. Most importantly, we look forward to continuing the momentum of united action across Canada for a safe future, for our shared environment and the global climate. And we look forward to continuing to provide you with Climate Action News This Week.
The End of an Era: Ontario to be coal-free ahead of schedule
This week, the province of Ontario announced that it’s last two large coal units will close by 2014, making over 99% of the province’s electricity generated from non-coal sources.
This announcement comes one year earlier than expected. In response, Pembina’s director of renewable energy, Tim Weis responded by saying, “Just over one decade ago, coal made up 25 per cent of Ontario’s electricity supply. With its sustained commitment to ending its reliance on the dirtiest fossil fuel, Ontario is showing the country – and the world – what a genuine commitment to cleaner energy can accomplish.”
The province is well ahead of federal coal regulations which will not come into effect until 2015, and which will take another decade and a half to accomplish the equivalent of Ontario’s progress and will take another 50 year, until 2062, to cover all coal fired power generation in Canada!
Yesterday, Idle No More supporters gathered at railway crossings, highways and downtown intersections to take part in a day of protest right across the country, with blockades staged at many of Canada’s high traffic locations, including the busiest border crossing in North America.
Today protesters pair up with activists and prominent business to present a petition to the Canadian High Commission in London. Today, Idle No More goes international. Inspired by Chief Theresa Spence, the UK Tar Sands Network and Lush Cosmetics organized this protest to support the movement which opposes a series of Bills pushed through parliament by the Canadian government which undermine First Nations’ treaties and make it easier for industries like the tar sands to extract natural resources from Indigenous lands.
“We have a responsibility to stand up and fight against this threat, not just for us but for all those across the earth who are feeling the effects of climate change and water insecurity”, said Clayton Thomas-Muller, from the Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign.
Idle No More organizers are calling for a worldwide day of action on January 29th, the day the House of Commons resumes.