Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Green jobs, yes we can. Tar sands, no we can't.

Whooee! Well, friends an' foes, I read the other day that Environment Minister Prentice sez Canada and Merka are side-by-side on environmental issues. Strange, sez I. A few short weeks ago, we were side-by-side with Bush. Bush and Obama are pretty much at opposite ends of the environmental action spectrum. How could Harper be onside with Bush and then onside with Obama when he hasn't changed course?

I ain't the only one who noticed that Harper ain't really onside with Obama. Jack Layton and Lizzie May signed a letter to Obama tellin' him what a hypocrite Harper is. I guess Iggy couldn't sign with him agreein' to Harper's plan to destroy the planet and all.

Prominent Canadian Artists, Athletes, Activists and Community Leaders to Obama: Green jobs, yes we can. Tar sands, no we can't

OTTAWA, Feb. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - On the eve of President Obama's first foreign visit to Canada, a group of over 50 prominent Canadians have signed an open letter telling Obama that the tar sands don't fit in the new energy economy.

"In your discussions with the Canadian government, we encourage you to raise concerns over the environmental and social problems associated with tar sands production and make no exemption for the tar sands in any binational agreement addressing climate change" says the open letter.

Actress Neve Campbell, authors Ann-Marie MacDonald and Farley Mowat, musicians Anton Kuerti and Jim Creeggan of the Barenaked Ladies, athletes Adam Kreek (Olympic Gold Medalist) and Andrew Ference (Boston Bruins defenceman), and political leaders Jack Layton of the NDP and Elizabeth May of the Green Party, are just a few of the many prominent Canadians to sign the letter.

"The tar sands are one of the most destructive projects on Earth and this letter illustrates the diversity of Canadian opposition to the dirty oil and support for a new energy economy," says Tony Clarke, Executive Director of the Polaris Institute and author of Tar Sands Showdown.

"We must look at the bigger picture and see the consequences of relying on the tar sands as an economic driver" says Maude Barlow, Chairperson for the Council of Canadians and Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the UN General Assembly. "There is an opportunity presented by the current pause in expansions to reassess, address, and develop a strategy to meet Canadians' energy security needs that transitions to sustainable energy production."

The open letter is one of many actions undertaken by a network of groups across Canada and the United States leading up to Obama's visit. The full letter and complete list of signatories is available on

For further information:
Andrea Harden-Donahue, Council of Canadians, (613) 218-5800,;

Joe Cressy, Polaris Institute, (613)668-5542,

I sure hope the Merchant of Hope gets to read that letter and doesn't bury his head in the tar sands.