E-News: Reflecting on what our country has been – and what our society must become

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The movement against Big Coal is gaining steam

Powerful corporations, pushing massive new coal developments in the Rockies, have been threatening the mountains, rivers, and democracy itself. And with your help, we’ve won two major victories in the fight against Big Coal.

The Grassy Mountain project, a massive steel-making coal mine, has been defeated. A joint federal-provincial review panel has denied the operating company’s application, saying its impacts on water, the environment, and Indigenous rights far outweigh any potential economic benefits. Meanwhile, the proposed Tent Mountain open-pit coal mine will now have to undergo a federal impact assessment before it can proceed.

The grassroots opposition to the new coal rush in Alberta is working – but our work is far from done.

There are currently seven coal mining projects proposed in the Rockies that could still go ahead. And we can’t stop until we defeat every single one of them.

On June 25th, we co-hosted a digital rally with the Alberta Environmental Network to take stock of our victories and plan for the work that remains ahead. You can watch that rally here.

Join us in moving Canada beyond coal! Call federal Environment Minister Wilkinson (or Minister Savage if you live in Alberta) and ask that they say no to coal in the Rockies. Then, write to the Alberta Coal Policy Committee urging them to reject all future coal development in the province.

Read more of our analysis about the fight against Big Coal here.

Net-Zero Act passes in the nick of time

Canada’s Net-Zero Climate Accountability Act (Bill C-12) has passed! This historic bill – Canada’s first climate accountability legislation – passed through the House and Senate just before legislators broke for summer holiday.

While it was far from perfect when it was first introduced in November 2020, there have been some key changes made through the legislative process — something that would have been impossible without the tireless efforts of a host of climate and Indigenous organizations and people like you. Thank you for everything you've done in helping to strengthen the bill and in moving our elected leaders to act on the climate emergency.

Still, the adoption of this bill is by no means a silver bullet. While it does tip the scales towards more serious climate action, we will continue to need strong movements to create new solutions and push governments to make broad policy change.

Read our analysis about the bill here.

Overwhelming support for a Just Transition in Atlantic Canada

This spring, the Council of Canadians teamed up with Sierra Club Canada Foundation and the Ecology Action Centre to conduct polling in the provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. The results revealed a remarkable public appetite for an energy transition.

More than 4 out 5 people said they support moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewables, along with training and income support for affected workers. More than 3 out 4 agreed that any post-pandemic recovery must prioritize those who have been made most vulnerable by the current economy, including women, people of colour, and Indigenous people.

You can see the full results here, and read further analysis in this op-ed.

It’s time for our governments to catch up, meet the moment, and deliver the bold, transformative solutions the public is asking for. Join us in building power to achieve that goal. Click here to learn about our Green New Deal Communities project.

Reflecting on what our country has been – and what our society must become

Over the past month, the remains of over 1,300 Indigenous children have been found in unmarked graves surrounding institutions they were forced into by churches and governments. Locating these remains has been a stark reminder of what many Indigenous people have known for a long time. It’s also a call for all of us to raise our voices and take action to address the deep injustices of the past and present.

This July 1st, we asked that you join us in taking the day as an opportunity to listen, learn, and reflect. Click here to read more and learn about the actions we suggested.

Our Co-Executive Directors, Christina Warner and Ravi Joshi, have also spent time over the last month reaching out to Indigenous staff and board members affected by the genocide committed by the Canadian state in the form of Indian Residential Schools. They document what they’ve learned in this statement, Justice in Response to Genocide.

Our Digital Campaigns Officer, Eagleclaw Thom, also contributed a powerful blog post that built on those conversations, as well as his own lived experience, research, and documentary film-making expertise.

No funding for Goldboro LNG

After failing to attract a single major investor for its proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project in Goldboro, Nova Scotia, Pieridae Energy has quietly missed its June 30th deadline for deciding on whether or not to move ahead with the project. The company had requested nearly $1 billion in financing from the federal government.

This is an important win. The Council of Canadians has worked hard to stop our government from spending public dollars on supporting this polluting project. We have been meeting and putting pressure on key east coast MPs who have been aggressively lobbied by Pieridae to support the subsidy.

We thank all of you who added your voice by flooding the offices of these MPs with phone calls and emails. Together, we told MPs that we want to see the government making major and rapid investment in renewables and energy efficiency, supporting affected works, and addressing structural inequality – not funding fossil fuels.

We also thank everyone who attended the webinar we co-hosted with our friends at the Wilderness Committee and Equiterre, called “From the fracking well to the LNG plant: a sprawling network.” You can watch that webinar here.

Stopping the Ontario government from giving away groundwater to billionaires

This month, thousands of you joined in demanding that the Ford government deny permits to Nestlé’s new owner, Triton.

Triton is seeking permission to extract up to 4.7 million litres of groundwater per day for bottled water from two wells in Wellington County, Ontario, for the next ten years. The company bought those wells earlier this year, as part of a $4.3 billion (USD) deal for all of Nestlé’s North American bottled water assets.

The Ontario government was accepting comments from the public regarding this permit renewal and more than 10,700 Council of Canadians supporters took part in voicing their opposition. A decision regarding those permits is expected later this summer.

Groundwater resources are finite and vulnerable. And it’s time to stop handing out permits that allow them to be extracted and sold. We thank each and every one of you who participated in standing up for water over profits.

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