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    Tell Elizabeth May to take a clear position against the Alberta Tar Sands

    We can not allow the Green Party of Canada to continue supporting bitumen extraction

  • Sign the petition now to get this policy changed!

    Ask Elizabeth May to take a clear position against the Alberta Tar Sands by reversing her position before the 2019 federal election

    Whereas Elizabeth May’s current policy supports the continuation of Tar Sands extraction for fuel until 2050 and indefinitely into the future for petrochemical products. The policy also includes support for the construction of new bitumen upgraders and even opens the door to using hard earned taxpayer funds to subsidize their construction.

     

    Whereas Ms May has said she is unwilling to support any kind of meaningful carbon tax beyond what the Trudeau Liberals have implemented.

     

    Whereas the Alberta Tar Sands emit unfathomable amounts of greenhouse gasses and poison the water while destroying habitats, communities and the local environment and tarnishing Canada’s reputation on the world stage.

     

    Whereas the Green Party of Canada should always remain a strong and outspoken voice in opposition of continued Tar Sands extraction and environmental destruction, and calling for anything less than a rapid shutdown following the election of a Green Party government is unacceptable.

     

    Whereas it is possible to achieve energy independence in Canada without using Tar Sands oil due to the availability of conventional oil produced in Alberta and Newfoundland, and that Tar Sands developments are primarily for export purposes. Many of the corporations operating in the Tar Sands are not even Canadian-owned.

     

    Whereas many environmental groups including Greenpeace and political parties such as the Bloc Québecois and NDP MPs have strongly denounced Ms May’s position in recent weeks, and considering that going into the 2019 federal election with this incoherent policy will cost the Green Party tremendous support while undermining the party’s credibility and playing into the hands of the oil industry.

     

    Whereas the Tar Sands currently employ 140,000 people, there are many alternatives. The federal government should make a firm commitment to supporting the workers but not by increasing their dependance on continuing to develop an unsustainable industry. The energy transition will cost hundreds of billions of dollars and generate far more jobs than the Tar Sands. There are also thousands of jobs to be had cleaning up the Tar Sands following their closure.

     

    We call on Elizabeth May to immediately modify her position by dropping her support for the construction of bitumen upgraders, by calling for an end to Tar Sands extraction within the first governing mandate of a Green Party government, and by proposing a carbon tax plan that goes beyond the current Liberal plan.

  • The Facts

    Can we have the policy changed before the 2019 federal election?

    Yes! According to Green Party of Canada deputy leader Daniel Green:

    "As a party we want to be challenged. If people tell us that we can go even further and prove it to us, we will. As Elizabeth said, it's kind of a place holder, there are things in our Mission Possible energy transition proposal that could be augmented. We will look at the details, the devil's in the details, and we are prepared to do it. So we're inviting the listeners to challenge us." (click here for source, scroll to 9:40)

    Elizabeth May supporting the Tar Sands in the House of Commons

    September 16, 2014

    "I was surprised to hear in the debate on a motion that deals with federal workers and minimum wage the member suggest that the official opposition, and far be it for me to defend my colleagues in the New Democratic Party, opposes the oil sands. I have never heard that. Neither does the Green Party oppose the oil sands or the workers there." (click here for source)

    May says she is not against pipelines — she's against pipelines carrying diluted bitumen

    May 28, 2019 - CBC News

    "We have never said we don't support pipelines," she said. "It's what's in the pipeline. We will never support pipelines with diluted bitumen." (click here for source)

    Supporting the construction of bitumen upgraders and the possibility of using public funds to get them built

    May 17, 2019

    When asked: Is it unlikely that the government money would go into building upgraders in Alberta?

     

    Elizabeth May replied: "I don't think - well that depends, and I'll say why. The reason right now it looks like there's enough upgraders on the drawing board, if they all come to fruition as private sector projects that's it, you don't need anymore." (click here for source, scroll to 19:00)

    Calling for a mere 50% reduction in Tar Sands emissions by the year 2050

    April 25, 2018

    "Let’s put federal support behind building upgraders and refineries in Alberta — in exchange for which Alberta agrees to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands to 35 megatonnes by 2050. We would end up with more jobs." (click here for source)

    Misrepresenting the facts by downplaying the significance of Tar Sands emissions

    May 17, 2019

    "Alberta's coal fired power plants produce as much greenhouse gasses as the oil sands," said Elizabeth May. "The reality is that although coal fired power plants produce a lot of emissions, they are nowhere near comparable to Tar Sands emissions." Despite repeated requests, Ms May has failed to provide a source for her false statistic, which downplays the significance of Tar Sands emissions. (click here for source)

  • Goals

    What we hope to achieve with this petition

    1

    Reform

    Have the Green Party of Canada adopt a clear position calling for a complete and total shutdown of the Tar Sands within the first 4 years of a governing mandate.

    2

    Propose

    Develop a plan that commits federal funds to help the 140k Tar Sands workers transition to jobs in renewable energy, environmental restoration or early retirement.

    3

    Solidify

    Re-establish the Green Party of Canada as a leader in the Canadian and international environmental movements by tackling head-on what is arguably the biggest environmental issue in our country.

  • Supporters

    Greens from across Canada are calling on Elizabeth May to take a strong position against the Alberta Tar Sands

    Alex Tyrrell, QC

    Leader of the Green Party of Quebec & founder of GreensRising.ca

    "We simply cannot allow the Green Party of Canada to continue supporting the Alberta Tar Sands. It goes directly against what we stand for as a party, as environmentalists and as progressive Canadians."

    Shawn Setyo, SK

    Leader of the Saskatchewan Green party, 2019 Green Party of Canada Candidate

    "The Greens across Canada cannot compromise our values and policies on issues as big as the Tar Sands. Canada has the potential to be energy independent without the Tar Sands."

    Cassandra Romyn, AB

    2019 Green Party of Canada candidate in Sturgeon River—Parkland & former Green Party of Alberta candidate

    "We should have had the discussion to end foreign oil imports decades ago. We are beyond needing a steady transition at this point, and if we want to survive in an optimal environment (socially, ecologically, and economically), it’s imperative we invest in renewable energy solutions for a healthy Green economy."

    Dr Catherine Richardson

    Director, First Peoples Studies at Concordia University, Metis, former Green Party of Québec candidate and current spokesperson on Indigenous Affairs

    "It is indisputable that the Tar Sands has created mass destruction for the earth and natural ecosystems in the region. I fear for the humans who need an untainted food supply and clean water. When we consider the next seven generations of children and their wellbeing we would be better to invest in clean energy. Many elders have said that we must not engage in activity that releases more C02 emissions. The earth does not need us humans to survive, but we need the earth. All my relations. "

  • Raymond Robinson, MB

    Pimicikamāk Nīhithawī Cree Nation Elder best known for his 43 day hunger strike with Theresa Spence during the Idle No More movement.

    "Mother earth is dying and we see it all around us. Think if you ever loved your mother and all she has given you up to this very moment - the love, the nurturing, the medicine when you needed it, when you were sick. The times you went to her for anything and everything you needed to feel better, to feel that love, the nurturing, that you desperately yearned for at that particular moment in time. So here is our collective mother, mother earth, that all of us need in the same way that we need our own biological mothers, each and every one of us need her. She has given us everything, our heart's desires. She has given us the love, the nurturing, the medicines, the waters, the air, the plants, the animal kingdom, so that we may have that love, that nurturing, so we may be strong and become strong in who we are. She is now calling on all of us to come to her aid for she is being violated and tortured and done all manner against her. Mother earth is seeking our help. Can you hear her pain? Can you hear her cries for help from each and every one of us. Can you actually hear? Hear as you would your own biological mother. You would come to defend here, you would come to give her your honour and respect that she deserves. This is the time, this is the moment. Are you going to turn your back on mother earth? Would you turn your back on your mother in that need? It's time. The time has come for us to give back what mother earth has given us. All my relations. Elder Raymond Winterblizard Man Robinson."

  • Laeticia Poiré-Hill, QC

    Green Party of Quebec spokesperson for the energy transition and member of the GPC association in Montarville

    "It's really unfortunate the party that qualifies as the most environmentally friendly and progressive in the country wants to continue to encourage the production of one of the dirtiest oils in the world. Especially when we think of the climate emergency and when we know that renewable energies are more accessible than ever. Canada must be a leader and an example in terms of the energy transition."

    Jill MacIntyre, PEI

    Young Canadian who worked on the 2019 Green Party of PEI​ Campaign

    "As a young person I was dismayed when Elizabeth May announced her support for the Alberta Tar Sands and bitumen upgraders. In accordance with the IPCC report, we have so little time to correct the incredible mistakes of the fossil fuel industry, and it is deeply unjust that people my generation around the world will die of climate change instead of old age. We need bold action on climate change, and that means shutting down the Tar Sands now while ensuring a just transition for workers. The Green Party needs to be climate leaders!"

    Saul Bottcher, ON

    2015 Green Party of Canada Candidate for Brampton Centre

    "Now is no time to appease a dying industry with half-measures that sacrifice our children's future. Canada needs the Green party to fight for a strong carbon tax, an immediate wind-down of the tar sands, and zero new fossil fuel infrastructure."

    Aidan Legault, NB

    Active Member of the New Brunswick Green Party

    "Elizabeth May's proposed support for Canadian fossil fuel extraction is deeply distressing to me. This tepid approach to the climate crisis is nothing but a death sentence for future generations, and the Green Party of Canada has a responsibility to do better. There is no "lesser-of-two evils" approach to climate policy: continued fossil fuel extraction will result in the suffering of untold millions in the years to come, and that is wholly and indisputably wrong. Our policy makers, particularly those who claim to be climate leaders, have a duty to act today- not tomorrow, and certainly not in 2050- to get to work building a livable planet: a planet freed from fossil fuels."

    Sandra Gagdos, QC

    Environmentalist, Animal Rights Activist and Social Justice Advocate

    "As an activist, environmentalist and as a member of the Green Party. I do not agree with Elizabeth May's plans to move forward with the Tar Sands. It is incredibly negligent. The Green Party is supposed to be about working to protect our environment. We know that there has has already been enough destruction and the time to speak out is now."

    Chafika Hebib, QC

    2018 Green Party of Quebec candidate and member of the GPQ executive

    "I am firmly convinced that our collective future will only be realized if we take ambitious and bold decisions on the energy transition. Ms. Elisabeth May has the opportunity today to take her responsibilities as leader of the Green Party of Canada by clearly and firmly opposing the development of oil from Alberta's tar sands."

    Vincent J. Carbonneau, QC

    Activist, LGBTQ+ and Economic Transition spokesperson for the Green Party of Quebec, former provincial and federal green candidate, member of the GPQ executive

    The battle we must fight against climate change is first and foremost that of my generation, who will pay the price and evolve in a world shaken by the consequences of this crisis. I have great respect for Mrs. May, Mr. Green and the entire GPC team who have been fighting hard for the environment for several years at the cost of several personal sacrifices. I myself started campaigning for the Greens at the age of 17, 8 years ago now, driven by the fear of a catastrophic future for myself and my loved ones. As a four-time provincial and federal candidate, I firmly believe that the Greens and our shared values represent the future and the solution to the climate crisis. However, our proposals must reflect the urgency of this climate crisis and we must remain consistent. Faced with the urgency, there is no compromise possible, we must refuse any development or continuity of fossil fuels and rely on green and viable alternatives. Our party must be the party of reason that does not push Canadians into the continuity of a dangerous and dead-end sector, but that gives them the tools to become successful renewable energy champions right now.

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