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Jul 8, 2009
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: Canada
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Action Letter: Michael Ignatieff is Stuck in the Tar Sands

“It [the tar sands] changes everything about our economic future.  It changes everything about Canada’s importance in the world” – Michael Ignatieff (January 14, 2009)

Dear Subscriber,

Let’s be very clear, Canada’s tar sands are the most environmentally destructive project on Earth.  The process of extracting and upgrading bitumen from the tar sands generates 3 – 5 times as much greenhouse gas pollution as the production of conventional oil.  There are dramatic environmental and social impacts caused by tar sands production and First Nations communities near tar sands development have raised alarming concerns over unusually high rates of rare cancers. 

Increasingly the tar sands are becoming the dirty backbone of Canada’s economy.  Rather than moving towards a new green energy economy, Canada is moving backwards by increasing our addiction to fossil fuels and by reviving our colonial role as the hewers of wood and drawers of water.


Since assuming leadership of the Liberal Party, Michael Ignatieff has championed the tar sands as the way of the future saying that, “The oil sands are an integral part of the future of Canada”.  Ignatieff’s strong support for the tar sands is increasingly making Young Liberals, Liberal MPs, and individuals across the country uncomfortable.


Michael Ignatieff is stuck in the tar sands and we need your help to get him out!

·        Send a letter to Michael Ignatieff and encourage him to say “no” to the tar sands and “yes” to a new energy economy.  Click HERE to send a letter.


·        Visit to join the campaign to help Ignatieff out of the tar sands.

The Tar Sands Watch Team,

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Posted: Jul 8, 2009 11:30am
Apr 16, 2009
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Meeting
Location: Canada

The Polaris Institute, in collaboration with the Sierra Club of Canada and the Other Side Radio (CFMU-Hamilton) presents:

 Tar Sands Showdown: Campaign Training Workshops

April 24th – 25th      Hamilton       Skydragon Centre, 27 King William St.

• May 1st – 2nd          London         Wemple Student Lounge, 266 Epworth Ave, King's College, University of Western Ontario

Take Action Now: participate in your local workshops and build the tools to collectively take on the Tar Sands!

Tar Sands Showdown is taking place in five Southwestern Ontario cities.  Each workshop will illustrate how local Ontario communities are affected by the tar sands, and how Canada can move away from dirty oil and towards a green energy economy.  The workshops will include a Friday evening information session and a day-long workshop on Saturday.      

The Friday evening will consist of a workshop and discussion about the tar sands, and how we're all affected in terms of our environment, our economy and our energy future.

Saturday is focused on what we can collectively do to move away from the tar sands.
The schedule is posted here:

Register online at:
Admission is sliding scale: $5-$25. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

The Polaris Institute is committed to enabling social movements to  work together for change in an age of corporate driven globalization.   We are interested in creating a space where dialogue and collaboration  is fostered as we work towards a just and sustainable future.  Work with us and other activists as we educate and empower ourselves to resist the tar sands and start building a new energy economy for the future!

Please check for other information on the workshops

Or contact Darren Puscas at for further information


Workshop Objective and Strategies:

OBJECTIVE: The overall objective of these workshops is to provide a training process for concerned individuals in a given community or workplace setting to engage in concrete action strategies and tactics on tar sands issues.

More specifically, the workshops are designed to train people to implement strategies and tactics aimed at challenging the production, sale and export of tar sands crude. In so doing, the objective is to build a broader base of core organizers to move this campaign forward.

STRATEGIES: The workshops will be designed to be as participatory as possible by drawing on the knowledge and experience of the participants. Participants will be encouraged to identify and develop strategies and tactics to take forward. The following is a short list of potential strategic action outcomes of the workshops:

           • Public education campaign linking the tar sands to manufacturing job losses
           • Local municipal government resolutions refusing to purchase tar sands crude
           • Building a community alliance for a new energy & green jobs economy
           • Organizing community opposition to tar sands infrastructure like pipelines/refineries

Jessie Kalman

Outgoing Tar Sands Watch Campaigner

(613) 237-1717 ext. 106

*Elly Adeland will be taking over my former duties as of May 2009

Her email address is, the extension remains the same

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Posted: Apr 16, 2009 10:16am
Jun 27, 2008
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: Canada

What comes to mind when you think about Alberta, Canada? Vast forests and wilderness, towering mountains and ski hills, rodeos and cowboys? That might have been true once, but not anymore. Alberta is now home to the largest and most environmentally destructive project on the planet, as revealed in a new site dedicated to dispelling Alberta's clean image.

Travelling Alberta is a mock travel site that pulls back the curtain on tar sands development and shows the world what the province is desperately trying to hide: pools of toxic, deadly water It tells the real story of what travelers will find in Alberta: massive CO2 emissions, toxic water and the planet's dirtiest oil.

But waging a battle against Big Oil and exposing the world's largest and most toxic industrial project is no small task, and we need your help. We need you to visit this site, to tell your friends and to spread the word. We need to get our message to the Canadian and Albertan governments that the world will not accept dirty oil extracted at the risk of environmental, social and economic health. And we need to do it now.

The tar sands are the dirtiest source of oil. Unlike conventional oil operations, the tar sands are extracted by building huge strip mines or deep in-situ wells. While the rest of the planet is finding solutions to decrease their carbon footprint, Alberta is making Canada's bigger. Already, greenhouse gases from the tar sands are roughly equal to the emissions of all the cars on the road today in Canada. And they're growing.

Water used from the tar sands is so contaminated with toxic chemicals it must be stored in huge "tailings ponds" that are visible from outer space. A city of two million people uses an amount of water equivalent to the tar sands annually. And just this past April, about 500 birds perished after they came in contact with the toxic water. They are typically scared away by air cannons!

More than 147,000 square kilometers of Boreal Forest — an area the size of Florida — is at risk to tar sands development. Yet instead of slowing down development, the Alberta government has approved every single tar sands proposal that has come across its desk.

This is the dirty image Alberta's Premier will try to sugar-coat as he travels throughout the United States and Europe, spending $25 million dollars to beautify Alberta's image. We need your help to send a clear message to Premier Ed Stelmach: Stop the Tar Sands and clean up your own backyard.

If you want to tell the Premier and Prime Minister Stephen Harper that it doesn't have to be this way. If you want to tell them to clean up their act and make Alberta a great place to visit again. If you want to have your voice heard as loud as big oil companies who are destroying the environment, visit and tell a friend.

Do your part to Stop the Tar Sands today.

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Posted: Jun 27, 2008 11:48am
May 7, 2008
Sierra Youth Coalition is organizing another amazing
political activism bike trip.

Fill a water bottle full of polluted water in the Athabasca
River and hand-deliver it to the oil executive of your
choice in Calgary.

Join us for the 2008 bike trip to raise awareness on this
most pressing issue! The tar sands are Canada's fastest
growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, and at the
current speed of development, could quickly become
Canada's greatest contributor to climate change. It is also
degrading Alberta's natural heritage with toxins and
clearcutting, and posing serious health threats to
communities in the region.

We will meet up in Edmonton on August 11th 2008 for
pre-departure training and workshops (mandatory). The
team will start the trip at Fort McMurray five days later
and head to Calgary, approximately 1000 kilometres
away. Arrival in Calgary is planned for September 3rd.


Please send an email to Youri (, read
the information sheet, statement of purpose and registration
which will be sent to you, and join us this summer!

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Posted: May 7, 2008 9:40am


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Elena P.
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Toronto, ON, Canada
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