ecoSanity protests Alberta Premier, Ed Stelmach, and runaway Tar Sands development at Empire Club of Canada luncheon, Toronto


On Tuesday, September 25th, shortly after the Premier of Alberta, Ed Stelmach, began his “Alberta: Canada’s engine of growth”, luncheon speech hosted by The Empire Club Of Canada at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto, a suited Green Defender (Volunteer) rose in protest with a cloth banner that read GET SANE in bold, black letters on white and made the following statement until he was removed:

“Mr Stelmach, right now, the people of the most impoverished nations are suffering and dying because of environmentally negligent ventures like the Alberta tar sands. (This sentence was not stated due to time restrictions) Canadians and the world need a clean, sustainable energy economy, not a pillaging, murderous one. (These were stated) Stop sacrificing my generation. Renewable energy now. Deadly tar sands NEVER!”

The tar sands are located under millions of hectares of untouched boreal forest that covers nearly 1/4 of Alberta. Trees are cut down, the surface is strip-mined and the underlying mixture is heated with steam to make it flow.

1) Oil from the tar sands produces 5 x more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil and is the fastest growing greenhouse gas emitter in Canada (Alberta emits 40% of our nation’s total, but with only 10% of our population)

2) Huge amounts of water and dirty energy are required to create the steam needed to extract the oil

3) The surrounding air and water is polluted with a variety of toxic chemicals

4) 70% of the crude oil is exported to the U.S.


We could propose things like: an immediate moratorium on new tar sands projects; cap air emissions from new upgraders; restrict water usage; level, then reverse, runaway development and initiate aggressive government regulation, but the reality is:

“At present, the planet’s atmosphere is on course to heat up to unsurvivable temperatures within the lifetimes of today’s children” (Glenn MacIntosh, “Founder’s Imperative”,

Alberta tar sands development and humanity cannot co-exist because tar sands development KILLS.

To read more, check out this Edmonton Sun article, Stelmach heckled in Toronto.

The planet won’t wait for us to save it, ourselves or those we love.



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