Canadians asked to Build a Climate Crisis Plan

Climate Action Network/Réseau action climat Canada (CAN-RAC)

Wednesday August 2nd, 2006

(Ottawa) The Climate Action Network/Réseau Action Climat Canada (CAN-RAC) is going on tour to find out what Canadians want in a Kyoto plan to address the climate crisis. “Climate Action Tour 2006” will present a series of workshops for Canadians to design a climate action plan. The tour is a response to the federal government’s cut to climate programs and its announced intention to create a “Made in Canada Plan”.

“There is something happening here -- a climate crisis. What we are going to do about isn’t exactly clear. They tell us we can’t make Kyoto and they are cutting programs to make sure we don’t. We’ve got to stop, think and make our plan,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of the Climate Action Network/Réseau Action Climat Canada, who will be conducting many of the workshops.

Local CAN-RAC members are arranging 18 or more workshops in Montreal, Halifax, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Midland, Hamilton, Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Yellowknife and Whitehorse.

“We will ask Canadians what want they want done and we will take their views to Ottawa”, said Mr. Bennett.

Each workshop will include background information about climate change, Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and existing climate change programs. Most of the time however will be devoted to gathering input from individual Canadians. A summary of recommendations from the sessions will be presented to the Prime Minister in fall 2006.

“Stephen Harper says he wants a “Made in Canada Plan”, so we’re helping Canadians make a plan,” said Mr. Bennett. “Canadians are ready to engage the climate crisis. This is not a partisan issue. It is a global crisis and we all have to do our part.”

Since winning a narrow minority last January, the new government has been blatantly undermining Canada’s Kyoto commitment and leadership. It has cut numerous emission reduction programs including the popular ‘Energuide for Houses’. In May, Parliament passed a Bloc resolution demanding the government produce a Kyoto Plan this fall. A few weeks ago in Washington Canada’s assistant deputy minister for International Affairs told a NAFTA meeting that the plan would be available in 14 weeks or October 15th.

The federal government has given no indication it plans to consult with any Canadians either before or after announcing its proposed “Made in Canada Plan”.

“Climate Change discussions often become bogged down in incomprehensible jargon. We hope these workshops will help us clear up a lot of misinformation and let Canadians have their say,” said Mr. Bennett.

The list of workshops issued today is not final. CAN-RAC welcomes community groups across the country to get involved.

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Information: Phone: 613-241-4413 Andrew Dumbrille. John Bennett, 613-613-291-6888

Tour Cities and Local Organizations (dates to be announced and confirmed):