Over the past few months, fires and floods, atmospheric rivers and heat domes, largely attributable to climate change and largely unprecedented, have left communities reeling from the impacts. People have lost their homes, their livelihoods and some have lost their lives.
At the same time, for the sake of ramming through Coastal GasLink (CGL), a fracked gas pipeline that offers no local benefits and only dwindling returns, RCMP conduct highly militarized raids on Wet’suwet’en territory, arresting land and water defenders, media witnesses, and supporters.
This destruction - raids on Wet’suwet’en territory in the name of CGL - has been going on since 2019. This destruction, a direct continuation of the colonial, extractive mandate that runs roughshod over Indigenous rights, destroys land and water and fuels climate disaster, has been going on for hundreds of years. This destruction must stop!
As Eve Saint said in a recent speech, "every time we get up, every time we stand up together, we are more powerful and they can't ignore us....We need to support each other....We all live here." What can we do? (Keep Reading to see some actions we can take now).
Toronto350 members are appalled by the ongoing invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory, the unlawful arrests made by militarized RCMP and the continued violation of Wet’suwet’en jurisdiction and law. The prioritization of Coastal Gaslink and a fracked gas pipeline at the expense of Indigenous sovereignty, internationally recognized human rights, and the protection of the local and global environment, is immoral and unconscionable.
As members of Toronto350 who are either descendants of earlier colonialists or more recent immigrants, we acknowledge that we are settlers on the historic territories of many Indigenous peoples. We also recognize that “Canada” is made up of lands that were stolen from different Indigenous Nations. The Colonial powers wanted the lands.Read more
Climate justice refers to the idea that the climate emergency is not only an environmental issue, but also a political and ethical issue. Climate change will increasingly be a defining experience for all life on Earth in the near future since the changing climate will lead to disruption of fragile ecosystems around the world. Global average temperatures have already increased by 1°C above pre-industrial levels in 2017 and are likely to increase by 0.2°C every decade unless immediate action is taken to stop emissions as well as remove greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere . The IPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Global Warming of 1.5°C report details the various effects of a 1.5°C rise including sea-level rise, intense heat waves, water and food insecurity, extreme weather events, among others. The most extreme impacts of climate change will largely be borne by populations who have historically benefited the least from fossil fuel extraction and use .
Today, on July 1st, TO350 members would like to acknowledge the horrific findings of childrens' remains at the former residential school sites across Canada and express our support for Indigenous communities. This is a time of mourning, not a time to celebrate.
If you are a survivor of Indigenous residential schools, or someone who bears the intergenerational trauma of them and you need support, call the Residential School help line: 1-866-925-4419. If you are looking for local social supports anywhere across Canada, call 211.Read more
Today, on National Indigenous Peoples’ day, it is a good time to mention that Bill C-15 has passed and royal assent is coming soon. To quote the bill’s summary, it will require that the government of Canada “take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP),” a human rights instrument focused on Indigenous rights.
The Line 5 Pipeline is 68 years old, operated by Enbridge and carries 87 million litres of fossil fuel per day, running from Superior, Wisconsin through Michigan and ending in Sarnia, Ontario. The pipeline also runs through the Great Lakes which are very important for the millions and millions of people around them, supporting recreation, agriculture and supplying drinking water.
When the Truth and Reconciliation report was released in 2015, many saw it as a chance to finally acknowledge the past and move forward together in a harmonious relationship with the Indigenous peoples on whose land we live and work. Fast forward to five years later and while the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten peoples’ health and disrupt their lives, industry is pushing ahead with projects that disregard Indigenous rights, including the right to Free, Informed and Prior Consent. From east coast to west coast, we continue to see racist harassment and violence directed against Indigenous people, often in the name of land and resource theft. Government is complicit in these ongoing acts of colonial violence whether they support industry outright or stand aside and do nothing. Both stances are an abdication of duty. They are the continuation of a genocidal Canadian protocol that puts profits above the health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities, valuing industrial projects more than human rights.
Yet again, the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations near Caledonia are being invaded by developers and the authorities in the municipality of Haldimand. The developers, Mackenzie Meadows, want to build a housing development on unceded Haudenosaunee land, profiting from territory that does not belong to them. To do this they must steal the land from the rightful owners, the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee.Read more
First Nations, land and water at greater risk after Supreme Court denies leave to appeal
On July 2, 2020, in a ruling with no explanation provided, the Supreme Court of Canada denied the Squamish Nation, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the Coldwater Indian Band leave to appeal an earlier federal court decision that found Cabinet’s approval to proceed with the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion project was reasonable.
The Nations challenged the consultation process, effectively asking: is consultation adequate where the owner of a project, who also has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the Nations impacted, performs the consultation, then assesses the adequacy of its own process? The Canadian government purchased the pipeline from Kinder Morgan in 2018.Read more