April 10, 2015

English Edition, No. 6

All Out for April 11 March!

Humanize the Natural and Social Environment!

All Out for April 11 March!
Humanize the Social and Natural Environment!
Quebec City Act on Climate March, Saturday April 11
- Statement of Act on Climate March

Manifesto for a Global Movement
- Quebec Collective, April 7, 2015


All Out for April 11 March!

Humanize the Social and Natural Environment!

On April 11, a Quebec and Canadian mobilization is being organized to demand that the various levels of government take up their responsibilities to protect the environment and stop submitting to the demands of the oil monopolies. The actions are taking place three days prior to the meeting of the Council of the Federation, which brings together the premiers of Quebec, the provinces and territories, being held in Quebec City to discuss climate change. Over 85 environmental organizations, trade unions, student organizations, groups involved in the defence of rights and First Nations have been working together to make this event a success, with the main action taking place on Saturday at 1:00 pm in Quebec City.


Demonstration in Sorel-Tracy October 26, 2014 against the decision of the federal and provincial governments to facilitate the export of oil from the Alberta tar sands through the St. Lawrence Seaway

On April 7, eight personalities from the cultural, environmental, economic, academic and political spheres of Quebec also called upon everyone to mobilize for the protection of the natural and social environment by issuing a "Manifesto for a Global Movement,” co-signed by 200 people, which also calls on all to take up “the struggle for the respect of science, of life, and of democracy.”

The PMLQ calls on everyone to join in this action to defend the dignity of Mother Earth. One of the issues raised with these activities is the need to take the decisions regarding the exploitation of natural resources out of the hands of the monopolies and the governments in their service. As witnesses of the effects of pollution and the destruction of the Earth occurring at an alarming rate as a result of neoliberal globalization and its anti-social and anti-national austerity agenda and its law of the jungle, the workers, the people of Quebec and of Canada and members of the First Nations recognize the need to intervene and to control their socialized economy so that it serves the public interest.

The warranted concerns about the destruction of the environment must be turned into a movement that places the people at the centre of all decision-making in economic, political and social matters. The feeling of helplessness in the face of the capacity of governments to pollute, destroy, over-exploit, to trample on the sovereign rights of the peoples of Quebec, Canada and the First Nations can be overcome through the position of authority that the peoples provide themselves to restrict and deprive the monopolies and the governments in their service of their power of doing as they please with the country's resources.

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Quebec City Act on Climate March, Saturday April 11

On April 14th the heads of Canada's provinces and territories will meet in Quebec City. Climate change will be the only item on their agenda.

2015 is a pivotal year for climate action, full of challenges and urgency, culminating in December's UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Across Canada the mining and transportation of unconventional oil from the tar sands has become a dominant issue. To the west ferocious opposition has stalled the Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan tar sands pipeline projects in their tracks, while to the east almost half a million dollars has already been raised by community groups preparing to fight Transcanada's proposed Energy East tar sands pipeline.

Stephen Harper calls these pipeline opponents extremists, but unlike his government they represent the views of a majority of Canadians. A study in the January edition of the journal Nature put our challenge plainly: Canada must leave 85 % of the tar sands in the soil in order to help the human race avoid catastrophic climate change.

That means no new tar sands pipelines. No Keystone, no Energy East, no Kinder Morgan, No Northern Gateway. Build even one, and we torpedo our chances of stopping global warming. We stand on the edge of a precipice, and a lack of political will threatens to send us over it.

It's time to stand up and speak with one voice: we demand climate protection and renewable energy solutions.

This is why we need you in Quebec on April 11. We need to go all-in. It's time to act on climate.

Who we are

The Act on Climate March is being organized by a Canada-wide climate coalition spearheaded by Quebec's environmental movement and supported by organized labour, community and citizen groups, student associations, social movements and Indigenous Nations and communities.

An initiative of:
Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique
Équiterre
Environmental Defence Canada
David Suzuki Foundation
Greenpeace
Nature Québec
Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Québec
Click here for full list of collaborators)

There are many climate-related events from April 11th to 16th:
Le Climat Show, Saturday April 11, 7pm at le Capitole de Québec, Québec city
Forum Action Climat Sunday April 12, Québec city
International Uranium Film Festival April 15-25, Québec City
World Uranium Symposium April 14-16, Québec City
12th annual Portneuf Environmental Film Festival April 16-26, Québec City

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Manifesto for a Global Movement

The red flags are unfurling at a rapid clip. The very survival of our species is at stake. Wildlife populations on our planet have diminished by half over the past 40 years. Our oceans are increasingly acidic. Greenhouse gas concentrations have reached near-irreversible levels. The science is unequivocal: to avoid an irreversible disruption of Earth's climate, the bulk of known fossil fuel reserves must be left buried. Under such circumstances, for Québec to now undertake to become another oil producer is outright immoral.

For what world is this where the generation of wealth is predicated on the eradication of life? We are the last generations in a position to prevent irreparable harm. We refuse to be complicit in the relentless ravaging of our future. Yet our inaction has become symptomatic of our moral failure.

None of this is done nor will be done in our name.

Faced with this urgency, we raise our voices in protest. We declare ourselves objectors on moral grounds. We cease to put our trust in governments that allow the plunder of common property for the profit of a wealthy few.

It is our duty to resist the methodical invasion of our land by oil companies and powerful investors. Québec's evolution as a modern society is based on core values that include clean energy and the redistribution of wealth. This is at the heart of who we are as Quebecers. This is what we aspire to be. We demand that this identity be respected.

On either side of the Saint Lawrence, let us be the ones to show the way: let us take action.

Consequently:

We demand an end to hydrocarbon prospecting and extraction on Québec territory;

We reject the transport of oil across our territory for the purposes of export, whether by train, pipeline or tanker;

We demand that the Government of Québec adopt a credible plan for halving our oil consumption by the year 2030 and for reaching carbon neutrality by 2050;

We demand that the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec disinvest from the fossil fuel sector. We ask the managers of other funds who have public investment to do the same. And we shall act in like fashion as individual investors. Our retirement funds must not serve to impoverish our children, but to ensure their future.

We are blessed to live in a province that is rich in renewable energy sources. Some of these have already been harnessed, resulting in the flooding of the taiga, the displacement of Aboriginal peoples, the rerouting of rivers, and the drowning of spruce trees, lichens and caribou populations. It is incumbent upon us to stop squandering these resources. Rather, our energy strategy must serve as a model for an ecological paradigm shift that others will emulate.

We hereby commit to lowering our consumption, improving our production, and contributing to the development of an economy that embraces social equity and the betterment of mankind while safeguarding the environment.

The tools for ecologizing and humanizing the economy are at our disposal; we have the means to begin the transformation. Let us therefore mobilize our resources and talents for the preservation of the planet and the empowerment of its human inhabitants. Together, let us build a different model, one that leads to a brighter future.

The ranks of those clamouring for change are swelling. Let us remain united in this pursuit, beyond any borders that would divide us. Let us participate in this democratic awakening, be a part of this fresh, creative impetus that seeks to defend our common property and uphold the public good, and which, through multiple means, bravely struggles to ensure a better future for our world.

We cannot be reduced to mere columns of numbers. We represent the future. Our commitment and mobilization carry hope for a prosperity that is measured in so much more than dollars.

Solutions are there to be found. We have the technological and human capabilities to undertake a vast project for development that is truly sustainable, viable, fair and equitable. It is our duty to lead this new global movement that will shape the 21st century.

Québec has on a number of occasions proven itself capable of successfully steering sweeping transformations, and done so with boldness, rigour and ingenuity. Our revolutions may be quiet, but they are nonetheless genuine, and they can inspire the entire world.

May those who are ready to embark upon this adventure join us: from Chisasibi to Port-

Menier, from Salluit to Montreal, by way of Québec City, Chicoutimi, Gaspé, Ristigouche, Cacouna, Trois-Rivières and Sorel. In each city and each village, let us move forward with heads held high. Like the people in Gilles Vigneault's song, let us "roll forward like a powder keg" and "advance like a breakaway ice floe." Together, let us sow the seeds of hope.

Let us cast out the encroaching darkness, along this river which is at our core and across the entire province. Let us be beacons for one another, driven by our love for our children, our country and our planet.

Let us surge in thousands to begin the battle for the respect of science, of life, and of democracy.

The river's water flows through our veins. Let us not allow greed to threaten the lives of belugas, nor our own.

Let us honour the memory of our brothers and sisters lost to the Lac-Mégantic catastrophe.
Let us support the First Nations and Inuit populations in their struggles to protect their territories.
Let us protect our children, our grandchildren, and those who will follow after them.
We shall intervene by all means of peaceful resistance at our disposal.
Ours is not a battle on behalf of Nature. We are Nature.
We are Nature now reclaiming its rights.
Nothing shall impede our movement.

*Authors:
Camil Bouchard, Dominic Champagne, Jérôme Dupras for Les Cowboys Fringants, Karel Mayrand, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, Éric Pineault, Annie Roy et Laure Waridel

(For the complete list of signatories, click here.)




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