Charlottetown rally voices opposition to pipeline infrastructure

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Canada must take a more active role in solving climate change challenges rather than developing pipeline infrastructure, a group of protesters said in Charlottetown today.

A group of approximately 30 gathered in front of Charlottetown MP Sean Casey’s office to send a message to the federal government.

The Prince Edward Island event was held in conjunction with more than 100 other local rallies across Canada for the “Defend our Climate, Defend our Communities.” Rallies.

The rallies were to show opposition to pipelines, tar sands expansion and slow action on climate change.

While those issues were addressed at the Charlottetown rally, the event also saw topics such as pesticides, small-scale farming and energy consumption discussed.

Charlottetown organizer Chisty Konschuh said she feels Prince Edward Island has an opportunity to be a leader in creating a sustainable environment.

“There are a lot of conscientious people here, back-to-landers, and I’ve learned that although the primary industry here is agriculture it’s also the biggest contributor to the highest rate of cancer in Canada,” said Konschuh. “I think P.E.I. can be the first place in Canada to say ‘no’ to cosmetic pesticides as a way of acknowledging we need to pay attention to our climate and communities.

“This (climate change) is happening, we’ve learned from it and now we’re adapting and moving on.”

One youth at the rally was 10-year-old Kylee Peters, who said she felt being at the event was important.

“We’re here because the government isn’t paying attention to us,” Peters told the crowd.

Peters encouraged individuals to make a personal difference by turning their lights off when they leave a room and not buying materials with excessive plastic packaging.

Darcie Lanthier, of the Green Party, also offered ways individuals can reduce their energy consumption.

While installing an air source heat pump will greatly reduce consumption, repairing cracks and gaps in a home with a tube of silicone will also cut back on electricity.

“You cold save more energy with a tube of silicone than you can by almost any other means and you know when you can do that? You can do that today,” said Lanthier. ”Every day you do something to reduce this consumption, this cycle we’re spiraling down the drain with… every day you can do to stop that is a great day.”

Konschuh encouraged those at the rally to spread the ideas they had heard.

“None of us are excluded from the impact to our climate, our communities by impetuous industry decisions that do not account for irreversible effects or careless extraction and transport,” she said. We need to unite and share our voice so that our children can be ready for their changing world and, in their defence, we stand together today.”

The event was organized nationally through local volunteers and with support and facilitation from, as well as other environmental, indigenous and community groups.

Organizations: Green Party

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Canada, Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • James
    November 18, 2013 - 05:30

    Is it too hard to go to the moon, eradicate smallpox or end apartheid? Is it too hard to build a computer that fits in your pocket? No? Then it's not too hard to build a clean energy future, either.

  • Stewart Smith
    November 17, 2013 - 22:09

    How can we keep growing our economy, consumption, and population - while at the same time reducing our land area by causing sea-level rise. That's like hitting the gas pedal when you see a brick wall in the distance. PEI can lead the country out of this madness, and we should.

  • Conch
    November 17, 2013 - 14:46

    Peaceful demonstrations of community members coming together and accessing the media for support. I wonder if that article title would have warranted the same hateful response. Why does Defend Our Climate, Defend Our Community evoke so much negativity? I did not set out to preach or tell anyone how to live their lives. Is that how you felt when you witnessed us joined together on Saturday? I sent out an invitation. Those who wanted to connect and learn more about a HUGE topic under the umbrella of Climate Change came and we connected and we will continue to learn. Why waste your energy on trying to tear me and others down? Am I standing in the way of progress? Have I offended you because I reused a t-shirt to send my message? Will you drive me and my bike off the road because you think I'm wrong, uniformed, hypocritical and without a right to express myself? I still consider myself as a guest to this island an I act accordingly. I'm still learning from the people who interact with me, including youth, adults and elders. Based on the feedback from those who attended the gathering, I am welcome. Whereas I am grateful to the reporter who attended, for those of you who not there to express your side on the matter, this article only briefly captures the inspiration that came from a variety of critically minded and educated community members. Based on the feedback and the comments from this article - I' m a little scared and disheartened . It's incredible to me that the image of giving voice to a brave young woman could be torn apart. I welcome your input and if you could try to keep insults and threatening language out your way - I may be able to learn from you. My invitation is to stand together - not create more division. What is your invitation?

    • Lynn Stordy
      November 19, 2013 - 12:24

      I think you did a great job organizing your rally. And I am very happy that the media covered it (FRONT PAGE NEWS!!!). The more people that read about it and get informed, the more people will stand up and ask for changes. Keep up the fight! You have lots of people behind you. David Suzuki is going to be at UPEI Duffy Science Centre Amphitheatre Sunday November 24 from 7-9pm giving a talk on Climate Change and Energy in Atlantic Canada. I hope you can attend. And I hope everyone that doubts climate change can come and learn what the scientists already know. We are in trouble and we need to change before it's too late. Thank you for all your hard work. You are a very brave woman.

  • Ontheland
    November 17, 2013 - 10:46

    First, are you sure that expanded tar sands and pipelines will be a major economic benefit outside Alberta ? The Pembina Institute report says "no" and that focussing government support on one resource will create a boom and bust situation Even if more tar sands oil is going to move across Canada by rail and pipeline, we need to be concerned about adequate safety measures to prevent disastrous spills. Finally, ask any climate scientist: Man-made carbon pollution is the cause of global warming. Tar sands extraction and processing creates higher carbon emissions than traditional oil wells. Therefore we need to invest in clean energy projects that do not promote climate change -- wind power, ocean tide power and solar power. If we do not make changes, human, animal, and ocean life will be threatened more and more.

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      November 17, 2013 - 13:56

      Alberta's oil boom means only that - A BOOM FOR ALBERTA, and a bust for the rest of Canada. In order to supply workers to the oil fields, it will be necessary to destroy the economies of other smaller, less significant provinces (PEI., NS, NB) in that order. Necessary because we would not leave our homes, families, and heritage voluntarily, so they brought in these measures to force us to go where we can make a small wage to feed our families. The lenders told gov to do this because it is all part of the new global economy, structured by and for the offshore banking cartel that holds all of our countries ransom ... because we let them. Wake up and realize that we have all been fooled through a series of technocratic decisions being made by people who are not our government but are very much so in control of everything we do. The only freedom we have is "WHERE DO I GO TO SPEND MY BORROWED MONEY?" Yet we think we are free to choose. Yes, we are free to choose ... but only from the choices the global elite allow us peasants to have. You know, a horse in a large fenced in field may THINK he is free but it is only when the horse tests the BOUNDARIES of the enclosure that he realizes that he is indeed fenced in.

  • XComa
    November 17, 2013 - 08:29

    Ok you can not protest 'every oil'... Right now we need to use Oil. Should more Research and Development go into other Technologies, absolutely. But the fact in the matter is that we now need Oil. ... Canadians need a cheaper option, the price we pay for Fuel is foolish.

  • Rob
    November 17, 2013 - 07:35

    Boy these indidivuals are creative lol...put a ten yr old on the line like that boy kid! this pipe line could be a very very good thing for our economy......lets face it if it wasnt for "Oil" how many people in Atlantic Canada would be without work right now, how many houses, cars, trucks, snow mobiles, four wheelers, furniture and much much more would not be sold on pei because of the oil! Find ways to better burn oil, sign a deal that would see Canadians purchase oil for half of what we pay now to allow the pipeline, guarantee 1000's of jobs...those are things you look at folks, dont BAN things make things work....lets face it there is no economy in green definately not affordable economy.........use our resources to better our way of life in Canada....they are there to be used lets use them and make for an economy that will see high paying jobs, dept payed off, incredible medicare, affordable heating oil gas, etc...........all these tree huggers do is raise the cost of liability, stall progress, move jobs to mexico and china........GO AWAY if you dont like how things are done here!

    • Hmmm
      November 17, 2013 - 12:21

      I respectfully disagree. When you say "let's face it - there is no economy in green," you are lying to yourself and others. The thing that needs to be faced is ... (1) We ARE going to run our of fossil fuels at some point, and (2) By burning them we are creating instability and insecurity, and (3) If we choose to innovate, we can create a society that is powered by the sun/wind/tide/geothermal etc. I'm not saying NEVER burn the oil. I'm just saying... let's burn it a little more slowly so we have time and stability to switch to renewable energy based economy.

  • Jim
    November 17, 2013 - 06:31

    These people are acting for OPEC interests even though they may be unaware of it. I do not believe that they really want to suffer the results of a shut down of oil supplies so it is just a matter of the source.

  • Tarsands or Tarzan?
    November 17, 2013 - 06:24

    Yes, let's protest about something we know nothing about! Then we can go hug a tree. Yes, splendid! The oil is going to come out regardless. Build the pipeline and create thousands and thousands of jobs for Canadians!

  • Pat MacInnis
    November 17, 2013 - 05:12

    Since when does installing a heat pump reduce electricity consumption?

    • Fred Simpson
      November 17, 2013 - 09:17

      Pat, this is from Wikipedia and is a short explanation on how it can save on electricity. There is a lot more if you are interested, but somehow I don't think you are. Heat pumps are used to provide heating because less high-grade energy is required for their operation than appears in the released heat. Most of the energy for heating comes from the external environment, and only a fraction comes from electricity (or some other high-grade energy source required to run a compressor). In electrically powered heat pumps, the heat transferred can be three or four times larger than the electrical power consumed, giving the system a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 3 or 4, as opposed to a COP of 1 of a conventional electrical resistance heater, in which all heat is produced from input electrical energy.

    • Pat MacInnis
      November 17, 2013 - 12:04

      Actually, I'm quite interested and I feel that I'm highly informed on this issue. The COP of your standard air-to-air heat pump is 3-4 on days with an outdoor temperature of about 5 degrees Celcius. If that temp drops, the COP will actually drop to about 1, or lower. The COP is a ratio of input power to output power, so a COP of 3 means that for every kW input, the output is, say, 9 kW. Heat pumps are significantly inefficient in cold weather, and most won't function beyond -20 degrees celcius. Therefore, a contingency plan to heat your home must be put in place, if you have any common sense about it. Most people cannot afford the high cost of these heat pumps, and you still run into the issue of the fact that heat pumps do not heat water.

  • Garth Staples
    November 16, 2013 - 20:06

    Misinformation at its worst. Why is it a few people who are against developing a better life for more Canadians get publicity. The media apparently supports misinformation too???

    • Bill MacIntosh
      November 17, 2013 - 09:28

      Garth, I must agree with you. The media does indeed support misinformation judging by the number of your comments The Guardian publishes.

  • Adam
    November 16, 2013 - 19:54

    Yes!! Let's continue to protest every possible major project citing negative environnemental effects as the reason why nothing should be done. I'm not the most educated person but I can say from a personal standpoint that I would love to be part of a major project close to home. I have been "on the road" for work for my entire career as a trades person. If islanders continue to support thiese narrow minded protestors, my wife will raise our children alone while I travel to provide for them because we have nothing here.

  • Bob Suoivbo
    November 16, 2013 - 19:40

    Stop using children to protests things they don't have an opinion on. How can a 10 year old have an opinion on a matter they likely don't understand anything about? Pipelines are a lot more efficient than trucking and shipping oil across the world. Unless you have a new carbon source we can use to make everything we use in our daily lives, I suggest you go protest something else. The plastic on that megaphone - made of hydrocarbons. Every article of clothing in the picture - dyed and manufactured using hydrocarbons. How did these people get to the protests? Probably drove their cars made of hydrocarbons, fueled with hydrocarbons.

    • Bud Brunsey
      November 17, 2013 - 09:33

      Bob, I really must disagree with you. You seem to have the mentality of a 10-year-old and you are expressing an opinion. It is ridiculous, but still an opinion.

  • Bob Macdonald
    November 16, 2013 - 18:17

    I've been hearing environmentalists saying this whole PEI has the highest rate of cancer for a bit now some even saying its double so decided to take a look myself and found out that for males the average for all Canada is 437 cases per 100,000 and on PEI it is 490 cases per 100,000 but for females the average for all of canada is 371 per 100,000 and on PEI it's only 344 per 100,000. So maybe the pesticides are keeping the cancer away for the woman? It is an outright lie to say PEI has the highest cancer rate in Canada. You can rates yourself on page 34 right here:,d.b2I&cad=rja

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      November 17, 2013 - 13:41

      Wow Bob, you really hit the nail on the head. I'm being sarcastic. The only people that want pesticides, cosmetic or not, are people profiting from the use of it. They might be farmers wanting to maximize their crop, or a vain home owner that cares more about his lawn than his children or neighbors, or people in pesticide related industries. All artificial chemical pesticides are carcinogens. Where is our government protection?

    • Ghoulman
      November 17, 2013 - 15:11

      That's a report from 2013. The leukemia rate was far higher in decades past until regulations were brought in during the late 80s.

  • Work
    November 16, 2013 - 18:14

    All you hippies are just scared there might be some work on the east coast and might have to work

  • J Murphy
    November 16, 2013 - 17:51

    Just because you are taking the time to protest does not mean you know anything about the subject.

  • Billy
    November 16, 2013 - 17:15

    Only the NDP and Obama call it the " Tarsands" . The official name is the OILSANDS. Was that the rally, two people.

    • Norman
      November 16, 2013 - 18:22

      Sorry Billy but lots of us that work there call it tarsand. I've drilled for it and it is called tar for a reason.