For immediate release: Thursday October 24, 2013
Ottawa has a chance to be a global leader on climate change
Says Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams
Communities across the US, western Canada and now central and eastern Canada are on the frontlines of the global fight to stop climate change—and Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams says it’s the city of Ottawa’s turn to step up to the plate.
Williams, who won the Nobel peace prize in 1997 for her work to ban antipersonnel landmines, will be in Ottawa next week for the launch of Breaking Ground: Women, Oil and Climate Change in Alberta and British Columbia. The report, by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, is the result of a women’s rights fact-finding mission–led by Williams–to the tar sands in Alberta and to communities directly impacted by the proposed pipeline through British Columbia last October.
“Women and communities across North America are standing up to governments and corporations that tell them they don’t have a voice in deciding national energy and environment policy,” says Williams. “The expansion of the tar sands, the building of pipelines through our communities and short-sighted thinking on climate change impacts all of us. Ottawa has an opportunity to speak loudly and clearly—and reject business as usual.”
Ecology Ottawa recently launched a Tar Free 613 campaign to stop TransCanada from building the Energy East pipeline. That pipeline would carry over a million barrels a day of tar sands oil from Alberta to New Brunswick, making its way through Ottawa and across the Rideau River.
The proposed pipeline is a risk to Ottawa’s water supply. Tar sands oil is thick and heavy and when it hits water, it sinks, making it impossible to clean up. It is a risk to health as toxic chemicals are added to tar sands oil to make it thin enough to travel through a pipeline.
“Pipeline spills are inevitable,” says Ecology Ottawa’s Ben Powless. “Every year, there are hundreds of pipeline spills across Canada. An oil spill in Ottawa would be catastrophic.”
While in Ottawa, Williams will be speaking about the climate change and the Energy East pipeline at Tar Sands, Pipelines in Your Backyard and the Clean Energy Revolution: A conversation with Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams on Monday October 28. That event will also feature Joanna Kerr, Executive Director of Greenpeace Canada and Julia Sanchez, President-CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation.
On Tuesday October 29, Williams will be accompanying Ecology Ottawa on a site visit to the area of Ottawa affected by the proposed pipeline. Also on Tuesday, Williams will participate in a roundtable discussion with women from the Ottawa region to hear their perspectives on climate change and the proposed TransCanada Energy East pipeline.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative uses the prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize and courageous women Pace Laureates to magnify the power and visibility of women working in countries around the world for peace, justice and equality. Ecology Ottawa, grassroots and volunteer-driven, is working to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada.
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