The fight against the fracked gas pipeline that Enbridge wants to put through rural Hamilton -- see this post for more detail on the proposal, and go here for a petition against the pipeline that you can sign and share -- is going to be a long one, and we will be asking you to take action in a number of ways in the coming months. The first one is easy: Send an email!
We want you to send an email to Christine Long, the secretary of the Ontario Energy Board, at BoardSec@ontarioenergyboard.ca. At this point, the OEB is deciding whether to allow Enbridge to simply submit written documents or whether to make them defend their proposal in an oral hearing. We feel strongly that the proposal should undergo an oral hearing. Please write to them and let them know that you think so too (and BCC us at email@example.com).
There are many reasons to take this position, and we encourage you to put it in your own words, but here are a few points you might want to make:
* the proposal raises significant issues and should be given thorough review
* the process must be made as open and transparent as possible, with as much opportunity as possible for the public to witness and participate
* the project crosses very ecologically significant land and puts water, wetlands, and endangered species at risk
* the project proposes to expand our supply of natural gas in the face of the climate emergency, when the science is telling us that we have to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels
* it would allow Enbridge to be questioned about whether reducing demand through greater energy efficiency might be more in the public interest than creating new fossil fuel infrastructure
For more detail on Enbridge's proposal and more information you can use in your email, go here.
On Wednesday morning starting at 9:30 am, Hamilton’s general issues committee will consider how the city will implement the climate emergency it declared nine months ago by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for the expected local impacts of global heating. A multi-departmental task force will present its recommended “Goals and Areas of Focus for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation”.
Hamilton 350 Committee urges everyone concerned about global heating to attend and observe this public meeting. It will be held in council chambers on the second floor of City Hall and is open for all to attend and observe.
The committee is also expected to hear from numerous citizen delegates who will each have five minutes to respond to the climate emergency plans. Delegates are expected from several locally active climate groups including Environment Hamilton, the Hamilton 350 Committee, Extinction Rebellion and the student-led Fridays for Future movement.
Delegates are normally allowed to address the committee for five minutes and may use power point, video or other digital aids. Those wishing to be delegates need to apply by noon on Tuesday December 3 by completing an on-line form found at https://www.hamilton.ca/council-committee/council-committee-meetings/request-speak-committee-council-form.
The multi-departmental recommendations are described in several on-line documents posted on the city’s website. They include:
The delegations from residents will be heard before the staff presentation and councillor discussion.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is Enbridge making “guilt payments” to Hamilton to grease approval of its brand new 48” fracked gas pipeline across rural Hamilton?
Join the picket of their media conference this Wednesday at 9:30 am on Stone Church Road East at Nebo Road
The city has issued an invitation to a media conference on Wednesday November 6 where Enbridge will announce the “support” it will provide the Hamilton Fire Department. The event is scheduled for 10 am at Fire Station #5 at 1227 Stone Church Road East at Nebo Road.
Enbridge Inc is the largest pipeline company in North America and is currently proposing to build a brand new fracked gas pipeline across some of Hamilton’s most ecologically sensitive rural lands. The new pipeline shows the company denies the climate emergency and the globally-recognized requirement to cut use of fossil fuels as fast as possible. Enbridge falsely says the pipeline is for “increased demand” at the same time as Hamilton and Burlington have already detailed how natural gas consumption must fall drastically in the next three decades as both cities move to carbon net-zero by 2050.
The guilt payments to the fire department also come in the wake of three major Enbridge gas pipeline explosions in the last 13 months. As such they represent an admission by Enbridge Inc that their pipelines are dangerous and very likely to result in fires and other dangerous situations that require the services of fire departments. Barely three months ago, an Enbridge gas pipeline exploded in Kentucky killing one person and sending five others to hospital. Earlier in the year, an Enbridge gas pipeline generated another fireball in Ohio. And in October of last year the explosion of an Enbridge gas pipe near Prince George, British Columbia created a massive fire and evacuation.
Enbridge’s planned new fracked gas pipeline from Kirkwall to just east of Highway 6 is an intentional climatic and ecological disaster. The route is entirely inside the Greenbelt and crosses the Beverly Swamp, Spencer Creek, Bronte Creek and multiple municipally-designated ecologically sensitive lands and waters. It also would plough through several large properties that have been purchased with public monies and are held by the Hamilton Conservation Authority for the express purpose of ensuring their permanent protection from bulldozers and other development. Pipeline installation typically involves bulldozing a 30-metre wide zone – in this case for ten kilometres.
The central business plan of Enbridge and other fossil fuel corporations will cause more global heating and climatic catastrophes by extracting, transporting and selling as much fossil fuel as possible. They are building new pipelines and carrying on this business plan despite widespread knowledge of its consequences and warnings a year ago from the most reputable global scientific body of climate scientists that climate-disrupting emissions must drop at least by half within the next decade.
Any payments made by these companies to public fire departments are piddling compared to what they owe for the climatic and other damages these corporations have already imposed and are continuing to make worse. This is not an act of charity by Enbridge, but instead an attempt to avoid being charged the full cost for their damaging business activities. Hamilton and its fire department should make clear that it regards these Enbridge monies as merely a tiny down payment on what is really owed and which must and will be collected. And obviously the city should not be bribed and should vigorously oppose Enbridge’s new pipeline.
Care about your future? Show it! Join the September 20th and 27th student strike and show the world and our politicians that North American university students are aware and active on climate change. Please help put politicians and fossil fuel executives on notice that we are in a climate emergency and require real action now!
Check out these two videos from Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg calling for us all to join her and the many other youth the world over in the streets. And join people in Hamilton:
September 20th: A Climate Change Conference from 1pm to 3pm and a Climate March starting at King & Dundurn at 4pm. (Please note that the march leaves at 4pm, and people are encouraged to gather before that!)
September 27th: Student and worker rally at Gore Park (beside King and James) from noon to 3pm
Please sign the MacGreenInvest petition asking McMaster University to divest its endowment fund from fossil fuel companies!
The petition reads: "Given the existential threat of climate change and the mandate of the university to train the generations that will be highly impacted, and given the imperative (ethical and environmental) that fossil fuel extraction must wind down rather than expand, we ask that the McMaster University Board of Governors pledge to divest endowment investments from fossil fuel companies and reinvest those funds in exclusively green-energy companies within 1 year."
You can sign it here: http://chng.it/jvjqR6N5
The Climate & I:
A Listening & Sharing Circle
Are your feelings about the climate emergency weighing on you?
You are welcome to join us for a facilitated, supportive and non-confrontational meeting.
These circles have proven to be helpful both to climate activists and others. All views are listened to with respect.
Where: 75 MacNab Street South, Hamilton, room 313 When: Wednesday June 26th, 7-9 pm Wednesday July 10th, 7-9 pm
RSVP: Please email email@example.com if you are coming to either date (or both).
Hamilton 350 is a grassroots group based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and affiliated with the continent-wide 350.org network. Our mission is to grow an engaged, aware local movement for urgent action and advocacy on the climate emergency that all of us face.
To get connected with us, look for Hamilton 350 on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The next meeting of the Hamilton 350 Committee is this coming Wednesday, May 15 at 7 pm and we have confirmed the Environment Hamilton offices at 22 Wilson as the location. A major agenda item will be the holding a public meeting in Hamilton on a Green New Deal for Canada in response to the call issued by dozens of organizations from across the country including 350.org. The public meeting is currently set for Friday May 24 at 7 pm in rooms 192-193 of Hamilton City Hall.
Climate Emergency next steps:
The city staff report on implementing the climate emergency declaration is expected in June, but there are further steps that you should urge councillors to take now. These include:
If you have input and advice to the city on specific actions you think Hamilton should take to slash local greenhouse gas emissions and/or drawdown carbon from the atmosphere, please share this with Hamilton 350 committee to coordinate and strengthen these actions.
Further support for climate emergency declarations includes a call for an Ontario declaration made by the official opposition party in the legislature. See details at https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/05/09/news/ontario-ndp-wants-declare-climate-emergency-doug-ford-wont-let-them
A student climate strike in Hamilton is set for Friday at 2 pm outside City Hall. Please try to support it, but let the students take the lead.
The next Hamilton 350 meeting is on Wednesday, April 17 at 7 pm at the offices of Environment Hamilton.
Many of you have contacted your city councillor and/or the mayor to support their declaration of a climate emergency. If you haven’t yet acted, there is still time to act. Please let Scott know what you have done at email@example.com. We know these messages are having a positive effect. If you have already acted, continue to try to build a relationship with one or more of our local councillors. Some of us had a good meeting today with city staff at their invitation to provide our ideas for implementation of the climate emergency resolution. We’ll have a full report at the next 350 meeting.
Climate Change Town Hall on Sunday, April 14 at 2 pm in Dundas Baptist Church at 201 Governor's Road with Dr Dianne Saxe, just fired Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.
Film screening of *Directly Affected* by Hamiltonian Zack Embree on Saturday, April 27 -- the meet-and-greet with the director starts at 7pm and the film starts at 7:30pm at East Plains United Church, 375 Plains Road East, Burlington.
A talk by J. Romm, the author of Climate Change: What Everybody Needs to Know on Saturday, May 4th at 7pm at East Plains United Church, 375 Plains Road East, Burlington.
Also see below for Extinction Rebellion plans for Hamilton over the next ten days:
XR International Rebellion starts on April 15th and we are keen to see how this unfolds on a global scale, across the 45 countries where Extinction Rebellion has significant presence.
We hope you will join the actions in Hamilton, where the following has been planned so far;
On April 15th we kick off the week by meeting up in front of city hall at 4PM to hand over a thank you card to our mayor and city council for declaring a climate emergency and to remind them of the joined effort that lies ahead to deal with our climate crisis.
After that, at roughly 5PM we will take our banners and flags for a friendly and fun walk around the block, with a stop including a die in and singing by Jackson Square.
Please come out for this family friendly event, to spread the message of climate emergency and need for action across our amazing city.
Costumes, signs and music are components that are more than welcome! Consider dressing up as the thing you are afraid of loosing (bees, bugs, polar bears, flowers, etc.) or those who are part of the problem ( big oil, politicians, TD bank, etc). Let your imagination flow! The more noticeable the better!
Hope to see as many as you as possible join this event and meet your community.
If you are interested in participating in the die in or choire part, please respond to this email to coordinate further.
Meeting on Saturday 13th for event coordination and info. Wentworth room at Hamilton Central Library
April 13th-22nd; Artists for Climate Action (AFCA)
Coordinated by our incredible Neil Woodley, this is a phenomenal art show with more than 40 uber-talented artist, all gathered at The Spice Factory.
Please make sure you go there at least once! Free admission and open every day until 5pm.
April 15th-19th; The Talk
Headed for Extinction and What to Do About It -The Talk, is given every day of the week at noon at the Spice Factory. Come by in your lunch hour and bring friends and colleagues!
April 20th; Four Bridges: Banner Drop and Climate March
Our sisters and brothers in Toronto are having this event on the Saturday 20th, 2pm-5pm Please consider coming out to support them as well.
For more details https://www.facebook.com/events/331844997677100/
If you would like to carpool or join us on the train on the day, respond to this email as well and we will coordinate.
We need to continue to build on the achievement of getting the city to declare a climate emergency. The mayor’s motion approved 10-0 at the Board of Health on March 18 sparked a 70 minute discussion at the city council meeting last Wednesday night and still won a 16-0 approval. There also continuing media coverage of the declaration including commentary today by Spectator columnist Andrew Dreschel.
Emails and phone calls to the mayor and councillors from 350 and XR supporters, as well as the presence of climate supporters at the council meeting certainly drove much of the debate on Wednesday night. That shows your interventions counted, and that more emails and calls to councillors will help even more. If you haven’t acted – do so now! If you have – continue to communicate with and build a direct relationship with one or more of our local elected officials. This is just the beginning!
Much of the council commentary was defensive – loudly proclaiming that the city has been doing lots on climate change for a long time. That illustrated one of the widespread confusions among some councillors. Most of that “action” has been responding to the effects of climate change; very little has been done to try and prevent it by reducing local emissions. We need to keep speaking to that confusion where it appears to exist. And we need to keep praising those councillors who seem to understand and strongly support city action to reduce emissions at least in line with the IPCC recommendations.
There is also a rump of councillors at this point who appear determined to prevent the city from spending any money to fight climate change, and perhaps even one or two who aren’t sure what climate change is. But the resolution is approved, and questions directed to city staff at the meeting indicate they are thinking about what implementation will require, and that it will affect the city budget.
Video of Wednesday night’s meeting is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKpamZ5tYWA. The climate debate starts 50 minutes into the meeting and goes to just past the two hour mark. Here are the start times for each. Check out what your councillor said. Also listen to the comments of staff half way through, and the mayor’s summary comments. What should we do next?
Staff Mike Zegarac 1:34:25
Staff Paul Johnson 1:28:15
Ontario Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe (just fired by Doug Ford) and a very good communicator on climate change (bring your friends) is the guest of Environment Hamilton on Monday, April 8 at 7 pm in the Hamilton room of the Central Library (55 York Boulevard)
XR Hamilton encourages you to support their delegation this coming Thursday night (April 4) to the Hamilton Conservation Authority board - 838 Mineral Springs Rd, Ancaster 7-8 pm. Regular monthly meeting, public welcome. Ian Graham presenting on Climate Change early in the agenda. Purpose is to enlist active support from HCA for the City's Declaration of Climate Emergency.
The following is a letter by Hamilton 350 member Don McLean published in the Hamilton Spectator on January 12, 2019, in response to the article "Rally in support of BC First Nations Pipeline Protest," that appeared in the January 9 edition of the paper.
How did Canada get into such a position? Our governments send a militarized RCMP to arrest indigenous residents in the wilderness of northern British Columbia. They do this to support construction of a 760 kilometre pipeline running the full width of the province that will wreak environmental havoc on largely pristine lands.
The pipeline is being built to carry natural gas destined for foreign markets. The gas is being obtained by fracking - an industrial process that intentionally pollutes both surface and ground water. The surface waters are first contaminated with chemicals and other materials, and then pumped into the earth where they permanently contaminate ground water. The pumping is hard enough to often trigger earthquakes because the companies want to fracture underground formations to ‘release’ fossil oil and gas so they can extract and sell it.
The outcome of this intentional water pollution is also pollute the air by burning the oil and gas even though the world’s scientists have repeatedly warned this will further destabilize earth's climate and worsen already devastating extreme weather damages.
Why isn’t the RCMP sent to arrest the frackers and the pipeline builders? It is their profit-driven activities which clearly damage the public good, not the brave people trying to stop this madness.
[The following is a post by Hamilton 350 member Ute Schmid Jones that she originally put on Facebook.]
As COP 24 continues to unfold in Poland, more than 40 climate activists gathered in #Hamont in front of the office of Member of Parliament for Hamilton-West-Ancaster-Dundas to reinforce the pressure on our Federal Government to act with #GlobalResponsibility on our national commitment to reduce our carbon emissions.
The rally, was to coincide with Filomena Tassi's scheduled meeting with a local climate advisory committee, in order to put media pressure on the MP. Unfortunately the meeting was cancelled earlier this week and so the activists were not given a public statement on the outcome of that consultation and meeting.
Each rally participant was instead encouraged to fill out a "visitor" information document that described their reason for "visiting the MP's Office". It is hoped that not only will Tassi read each submitted document, but that she will also respond to each in a timely matter. It is after all, the eve of an election year, and these Canadians are making it clear that they want to see their locally elected representatives step up on #climateaction.
Thank you to each community member who came out to stand in the cold today. Thank you to those who spoke at the microphone with passion... you inspire me. Thank you to those who drove by our rally and honked in solidarity.
This series of photos opens with a video introduction by Don McLean, the current chair of Hamilton 350 and concludes with some words from Grant Linney, the current chair of Hamilton Blue Dot. We will continue to demand better from our elected representatives.
Stay tuned for the latest 350 news.