GASP Sends Letter to Environment Minister Wilkinson Over Trans Mountain Comments

Last Monday in response to the latest IPCC report, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Canada still needed to build the Trans Mountain pipeline, stating that the revenue generated from the pipeline would help the country achieve its climate objectives for 2050.

Climate Legacy network member Grandmother’s Act to Save the Planet (GASP) was quick to point out the obvious flaw in this argument.

“The planet cannot wait until 2050” wrote Carole Holmes and Lorraine Green, GASP’s co-chairs in their letter to the Minister.

The controversial Trans Mountain pipeline is now expected to cost upwards of $12.6 billion from an earlier estimated $7.4 billion.

You can read GASP’s full letter below.

Dear Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson,

 GASP was terribly disappointed when we heard your comments that Canada will continue to extract oil from the Trans Mountain Pipeline because the revenue is needed to help Canada achieve its long-term climate objectives. This comes on the same day, August 9th, 2021, that the IPCC published their report that forecasts catastrophic environmental consequences if humans continue burning coal and other fossil fuels.

 In an interview with Katie Simpson, on CBC’s Power and Politics, you reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to phasing out fossil fuels and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but as we see in the IPCC, the planet cannot wait until 2050.

 Our children, grandchildren, and children everywhere cannot wait till 2050.

 Forests and Canadian towns that have burnt down this summer in Canada cannot wait till 2050.

 Crops, across the prairie provinces, that have withered this summer cannot wait until 2050.

 The melting permafrost is impacting the Inuit way of life today. They cannot wait until 2050.

 Canada’s commitment to lower emissions 40% – 45% is actually weaker than the IPCC called for. Canada has hugely benefited from extracting and burning fossil fuels and we now have a “CARBON DEBT “to the world. Decarbonization is our only path to survival.

 Is it only, we grandmothers, that think it’s absolute nonsense to believe burning fossil fuels can transition us away from fossil fuels? That Canada needs the revenue from the Trans Mountain Pipeline to fight the proliferation of fossil fuels? That focusing on 2050 ‘long-term climate objectives’ sends a message of urgency?

 Canada cannot waste time and money on false solutions being pushed by oil and gas companies that sanction more oil and gas production. As a top global and a major fossil fuel exporter, we have both the responsibility and the power to make a difference. We must cut emissions in half this decade, rapidly decarbonize all sectors of the economy, and phase out fossil fuels.

 In the past, we have taken our issues to our Halton Liberal MPs – Pam Damoff; Anita Anand; Karina Gould; and Adam vanKoeverden, for whom we have great respect. They have always given us time to meet with them and have been excellent listeners. They all think very highly of you, your knowledge, and expertise, however, we feel they are reluctant to address our concerns with you.

 There is no time for delay; the Climate Emergency is NOT a problem of the future, or the next government – it’s here and now and affecting every region of the world. Hence our decision to write you directly.

 If, as you say, Canada is serious about the climate crisis, your response to the IPCC report must be a moratorium on fossil fuel expansion in Canada; a freeze on projects like Trans Mountain; and immediate action to fast track just transition legislation.

 Every degree of warming that we can prevent means more lives saved; it means more species protected; it means our grandchildren and future generations will inherit a world they can live in.

 Sincerely,

Carole Holmes and Lorraine Green, Co-Chairs- GASP

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