Press Release: CANADIAN YOUTH EJECTED FROM COP17

PRESS RELEASE

December 7, 2011

CANADIAN YOUTH EJECTED FROM COP17 

TURN THEIR BACKS ON CANADIAN GOVERNMENT DURING OPENING SPEECH
Durban, South Africa – Members of the Canadian Youth Delegation were ejected from COP17 today as Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent delivered his opening address at the United Nations climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa. Just as Kent began his speech, six youth stood and turned away from the Minister revealing the message “Turn your back on Canada” prominently displayed on their shirts.

“Our so-called Environment Minister entered these talks by going on record that he would be defending the tar sands. I have yet to hear him say that he’s here to defend my future,” said James Hutt, one of the youth delegates who participated in the action.

The six youth, including Brigette DePape (the “Rogue Page”) received an ovation from the crowd watching the Minister’s address. They were escorted out of the International Convention Center’s plenary hall and removed from the premises at 12:30 p.m local time. Their accreditation was revoked upon their removal.

“This extraction-happy government hasn’t limited their reckless behaviour the climate talks here in Durban,” said Tasha Peters. “Canada has been called out for lobbying to lower EU fuel quality regulations to allow the expansion of  world’s largest and most destructive mega-project – the Alberta tar sands.”

As the negotiations have progressed in Durban, Canada has won 12 ‘Fossil of the Day’ awards due to their action in Durban. Over the past week and a half youth have challenged Canada’s irresponsible Canadian negotiation strategies, indicative of the close relationship between Canada’s climate policy and dirty fossil fuels.

“By stalling international progress, the actions of this government put the future of our country and our generation in danger; we won’t take that sitting down,” said James Hutt. “As long as Canada is at the negotiation table promoting industry over human rights,  we will never see the climate agreement the world needs. It’s time to leave Canada behind.”

-30-

The Canadian Youth Delegation to COP17 is a united front of youth from across Canada tackling the biggest challenge of our generation: the climate crisis. Acting locally, provincially, federally, and internationally, we combine our forces to educate and empower youth. We represent the voice of Canadian youth at the UN Climate Negotiations. For more information, see cyd-djc.org.


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Comments
170 Responses to “Press Release: CANADIAN YOUTH EJECTED FROM COP17”
  1. kbardswich says:

    Great job, you amazing 6! I was there and it was awesome. Especially the applause and standing ovation. You couldn’t even hear Kent!

    • ellen says:

      He’s got nothing good to say. Fantastic you guys! Truly proud of your stand.
      A Canadian!

    • Robert says:

      Out of curiosity have any of these brilliant people figured out their carbon footprint for attending this “give your money to the 3rd world” gab-fest? Don’t tell me they walked or paddled their butts there.

      Quite frankly this kids are an embarassment to Canada. Want to make your statment? Try practicing what you preach. Live without oil/power for a year and then I might respect your stand. Until then you’re just part of the problem offering zero solutions.

      As far as the oil sands…for the love of earth do a little research on the oil sands and the actual emissions associated with it before suggesting it’s the worst climate disaster ever seen.

      Canada contributes less than 2% of global emissions, go protest the actions (or lack thereof) of China or India instead of taking cheap shots at Canada with no factual evidence to back you.

  2. Climate?Health? says:

    How amazing Canada – continue those actions!

  3. janeisgreen says:

    Wonderful! Every Canadian should turn their back on Peter Kent — the words “Environment Minister” should be changed to “Destruction of the Environment Minister”. I hope there’s a country & world left when these smart & courageous young people get their chance to change things.

  4. acohen says:

    absolutely incredible!!! so glad to hear you guys did this!! makes me proud to know that canadian youth aren’t willing to shut up and sit down

  5. well done
    big love, Earth in Brackets

  6. Jon Alexander says:

    Amazing to see Cdn Youth standing up for the global environment and against dirty oil! Our gratitude to the Durban “Turn your back” 6!!!

    • Don Kossick says:

      It is so great to see Canadian youth being there – standing up for a Canada that believes in sustainability and cooperation not profit and destruction. My generation – the pensioners have to support you and be alongside. Viva Cdn Youth Delegation – in solidarity – Don Kossick – http://www.makingthelinksradio.ca.

      • As an American living in Canada it seems like the disconnect between the true beliefs of the people and policy is much worse than the States. Hopefully these gestures will continue to add up to something.

  7. Matthew says:

    What about the cars and planes and boats and trains and plastics and synthetic fibers and heat in your home and propane in your barbecue and glass on your wond

    • Matthew says:

      Windows and the wood in your house and the metals and food you eat and the organic vegetables you buy. All this stuff doesn’t appear and is impacted by the price of gas. If you can find ways around using it I will support you but until then we NEED the oil sands. If we stop producing were saving the environment while destroying the welfare of our country

      • quit your job, learn to grow your own food.if everyone does it we’re set.without the environment, the welfare of all living things that we depend on for survival will die.we will die.it’s not a hard choice really.maybe we do need to destroy our economy, we can live with out that but not without clean air, water, and diverse ecosystems

      • andrew says:

        We don’t need the oil sands. We need responsible corporate action, and us as consumers can help make changes by supporting other alternatives with our wallets. Many building materials can be found locally, plastics etc. can be manufactured using organic compounds and we already have the capability to use alternative energy sources. It is simply that we tolerate these conditions and accept them as normal. Transporting goods is certainly important but there must be a better way – if we can spend enormous amounts of money on nation wide pipelines then we definitely have the resources to run a few magnetic trains throughout the country.

      • martin golder says:

        The question is “If not oil then what? Answer well researched here.

        http://news.stanford.edu/news/2011/january/jacobson-world-energy-012611.html

      • Crispin says:

        While I agree with you absolutely that these things are CURRENTLY affected by the price of gas, this would have changed years ago had the oil industry not done everything in their considerable power to block advances in alternate fuels, energy and transportation systems. I don’t like any of it but cannot say I’m ever surprised – business is business. I blame us. It’s up to us to change things with our votes and our wallets. We have the chance to move things forward and it won’t happen overnight but it can be done.

      • bex0r says:

        we need the oil sands like we need another hole in our heads. we need to be start weaning off fossil fuels and transitioning to alternative energy sources and systems of delivery. this will take time and people need to be okay with making sacrifices until new systems are up and running. this may mean doing without plastic and other petroleum-based products until we can learn to produce alternatives. learning to cycle and walk instead of driving, buying second-hand in stead of new, and learning trades that can help us each gain sustainability and self-sufficiency instead of depending on industry and the economy to provide the goods and services we need.

      • K says:

        Thank you, Matthew. Until we have better alternative fuels, we are dependent on oil. And the Tar Sands are working towards having cleaner running procedures.
        Quitting your job and learning to grown your own food is not the only solution. And, indeed, if we thought that, then this internet discussion would not be taking place.

        I don’t believe that we should waste our resources, but I don’t disagree with the Tar Sands, either.

        And, please remember, it is what is driving Alberta’s economy, and probably most of Canada’s throughout the filter down effect.

      • Knacker says:

        If the climate was in dire repair, the enviro-fascists would be demanding that we lay down our technologies and first world lifestyles to cope. The fact that the ones who speak the loudest about climate change have some of the biggest personal carbon foot prints in the world should be evidence enough that we have no problem. I would love to see David Suzuki or Al Gore have to live like the rest of us.

        Kyoto was a matter of paying billions to other countries without even do anything to ours. It is wealth distribution pure and simple. It will cost a whole lot less to do nothing, than it would cost do something. Even though there is nothing to do, for something that isn’t a problem.

        Call me names all you want, but actions speak louder than words. The actions of alarmists show others that no actions are necessary.

      • Knacker says:

        “quit your job, learn to grow your own food.if everyone does it we’re set”

        How is that working for Attawapiskat? Even those that have millions of dollars can’t live of the land naturally and safely.

        Sorry bud, but your urban a$$ couldn’t last a night without Coleman and Northface.

      • Jan says:

        Oh, Russell, do grow up.

      • James says:

        Russel, take a second to examine your idea. Everyone quits their job and tries to grow their own food. First off, each household would need sufficient space to grow said food, varying amounts of diverse food to provide their families with all the nutrients they need. Now this space to grow the food, the land has to be suitable for growing. People living in places like northern Canada for example where the weather does not permit a long growing season or places where there are extended dry periods will have an extreme difficulty in providing the nutrients to sustain their families.

        Secondly, think about what happens when some people end up having good land, with prime growing conditions and others do not. If everyone is responsible for their own food, the people who get unfortunate conditions face the choice of stealing from those who have food to survive or dying come winter. Now if your neighbour came to you, starving and you only had enough for your own family and turned him away and he decides he will try to steal from you to survive, you must then protect your own food supply and since everyone has quit their jobs, there is no one to enforce laws. It really turns into kill or be killed pretty quickly.

        Destroying the economy, while it may seem like the best solution to you, is not a solution at all. It is kind of sad that people don’t think more before they post. It’s these radical comments that reduce people’s opinions of environmentalists in general. Too often people arguing for the cause aren’t looking at the big picture.

      • Geoffrey says:

        If the oil sands were necessary, simply because they bolstered an economy and created a “resource” within an economy that was slowly destroying our way of life, then by that same token the 2nd world war would, by the same tokens, do the same things. I nor anyone else is required to replace your precious planes, boats, cd players, anything else. This is either going to be good love or tough love – the environment will be slowed in its already sharp decline by people replacing oil-based culture with things that aren’t based on the progress narrative of oil extraction and land encroachment or there will be a more sudden comeuppance.
        There are however many ways that have been discussed for low impact solutions.
        For instance, your example of “the wood in your houses”. Check our cob building, straw bale building, pop bottle building, adobe. Check out pop bottle lighting, check out permaculture. The issue is NOT that there are no solutions, it is that the money is and has been for the last few hundred years, perhaps a few thousand years, invested in industries, industries that are completely disinterested in educating people like yourself in these issues. The tar sands is a simple issue environmentally, but a cataclysmic ally complicated one socially philosophically and culturally.
        There are also always cultural/social ways to reduce the problem. There are cultures that have lasted a very long time without destroying the landscape, and many civilizations that although they did do a lot of damage, didn’t go anywhere near our destructive lifestyles. There are current cultures that have far greater population density without as many psycho-social issues as the so called developed world has.
        It would take a better writer than I to explain why we don’t need the tar sands, but your own privilege should tell you that it’s not the tar sands or political posturing like “the welfare of the country” that you need right now, it’s something very different. Sorry I can’t offer more.

    • Julie & Vincent says:

      i agree, we are all guilty for using this stuff. However… the technology is already out there so that minimal amounts can be used but the oil companies buy it up and lock it up because the environment takes a back seat to profit… I would like to see all these politicians & corporate heads live in these exploited tar sand areas for at least 1 year so they can feel 1st hand what the health effects are on people and the environment, maybe if they had to watch their children die from toxins they would change how they do business …

    • Samuel says:

      There are hundreds of books and websites that will better educate you Matthew about your way of thinking. It is closed-minded to think that we “need” to be so dependent on oil to live our lives. The first we all have to do is to be better informed and challenge our living habits. Just to answer a few of your concerns:

      http://www.good.is/category/environment/

      book- “The Climate Challenge” by Guy Dauncey

    • Steve says:

      Exactly Matthew, people fail to see that oil provides the transportation for many of our lives necessities. There will always be people like Russell though that believe that dismantling society will result in a longer healthier life. They’ll be in a great spot when they have no access to health services and their self grown crops get wiped out by a disease. Plus if everyone does it we’ll sure as hell see another massive pandemic, one that hasn’t occurred since 1918. Damn hippies are dumb

    • ? says:

      The point is that Canada is investing in a dead end (for all of us) industry rather than spending the money used subsidizing the tar sands extraction for non polluting energy. If the gov’t were to invest in converting the Bay of Fundy tidal surge into electrical power it would provide thousands of jobs for Canadians and contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the Canadian gov’t by way of sales to the USA.

      • Andrew says:

        If the Bay of Fundy power project is such a good idea why haven’t private investors built it?
        Oil sands projects are built this way all the time.

        By the way, if we kill the oil sands where will the money come from to pay the inter-provincial transfers that subsidizes your universities.

      • Orion says:

        People in the north have survived centuries without dependence on packaged or transported food. Have you lived in the north James? I have, and there are plenty of opportunities for people to grow their own food. The sun is intense up north and they get a lot more of it than we do, so although the season may be shorter they can definitely take advantage of the sun and build greenhouses or cold frame structures.

        And about extended dry seasons, there are ways to overcome that. Use mulch and set up some rain barrels to help supplement the water they use. I grew up with parents who watered their garden 2 times a year, maybe, even in drought season. I grew intense “victory garden” vegetables and only had access to a single rain barrel and never watered a single time after the seeds and plants were established… I worked for the municipality and City of Toronto for several summers promoting xeriscape gardening. All I’m saying is, there are ways to garden in drought, people all over the world are doing it.

        People in the north still depend on fishing, hunting, and trapping. People who can’t do these activities (Elders) are given traditional foods by younger people who can. So food is being shared, but maybe not to everyone. So community dynamics need to change. But believe me, up there you need each other to survive… it’s cold and the government isn’t doing much to help.

        Also, I do believe the tar sands and other corporations (mining, mills, etc) are the direct cause for why people in the north can’t always depend on traditional foods to get the nutrients they need. The waste is being dumped into rivers, lakes and streams, making everything that depends on the water poisoned with chemicals. There is scientific evidence of this, read about it. There is a disproportional amount of traditional Natives who are becoming sick with cancer.

        So in short. People in the north do have the space, can access the technology and have the time, to provide food and nutrients for their family. There needs to be education and a desire from the whole community (or most) to embrace self-sufficient gardening. Which
        is not really part of the culture, but it could be.

        The healthy foods being sent to the north are more expensive than packaged empty food and they tend to be inedible because they don’t have proper storage or people just prefer to make quick meals with good tasting but unhealthy packaged foods.

        James you’re idea of “kill or be killed” is incredibly silly. And Russell, I think about quitting my job all the time and doing what I love, which is gardening. Not to say I don’t love my job hehe.

        Anyways, I am so proud of the six young people who stood up to the government. And think it’s pathetic that they were kicked out of the meeting. No one wants to listen or give the floor to the other side… it’s terrible when people are thrown out for making their voice heard. We need to hear the other side!!! SPEAK UP and SPEAK OUT!

  8. Gail Rhyno says:

    So excellent! Proud to be Canadian. Too bad these days that means not proud of my government.

  9. Barbara Saunders says:

    Wow I am so inspired by your actions – thanks so much and know you represent many thousands of Canadians. Big thank hugs to you all!

    • Spence says:

      thank the almighty that there are millions they don’t represent. Unfortunately the fuel they used to fly back to Canada didn’t do it fast enough to get them to the latest occupy protest. Vive la resistance!

  10. MMacLean says:

    Thank you!

  11. Anne Cadman says:

    Thank you to these great young people for showing the world this government does not speak for all Canadians.

  12. Great job! Thank you for your courage and determination.

  13. Thank you so much all, much love.

  14. M says:

    Thank you! it makes me sad they not only rob you of a clean and safe environment but also the innocence care free optimism of your youth… I am so sorry you young ones have to deal with this and take a stand for us adults who should know better by now and should have voted for the right people…

  15. comop1 says:

    Way to go! Standing up and making a statement such as this is just what the Environment Minister needed to see… and that everyone in the room applauded it, bonus! He should have been the one to be ejected… not the group of you!

  16. alistair says:

    Am not a canadian but i love canada. am so proud of these youth for fighting what is best for the future generation and exposing the hypocrisy of the minister. James am proud of you

    • John West says:

      You have no idea what you are talking about. You have an opinion, but zero to back it up with. Have you ever been to Alberta. Do you understand anything about the Canadian economy? I thought not.

      Those protesting kids are fat, ugly and empty headed. You are an obvious peer.

      • Mr. Fitz says:

        Name calling is the last resort of a child. Whein one would like to express themselves they should do so in a manner in which they seem credible, not childish.

      • I second that. The kids may not even necessarily say “down with the Tar Sands projects” if the government and its agencies acknowledged that the present system is less than ideal and that efforts were going to be made to transition out of these projects and into others, rather than cut and run.

        What people are not acknowledging is that if we moved to a more localized economy, people would not have to work as many hours and more people would have jobs, AND there would probably be less intervention from the state as welfare would not be needed as heavily in that system.

  17. Bruce Gavin Ward says:

    as a 69 year old world {canadian] citizen i would like to officially apologize to the planet, and especially to the youth around the world, for the actions and lack of action of the [40% majority] government that i did NOT vote for. sadly but most respectfully i “pass it on” to you to do what you can to salvage this planet from a sad crop of dinosaurs who obviously just don’t give a damn!

    • amaysia says:

      This makes me smile. It’s not often that you see past generations recognizing that they made mistakes (unknowingly or otherwise) and apologizing to the generation that will have to live with the repercussions.

    • Mike in Calgary says:

      You have evidently failed miserably. Why did you *not* convince more Canadians to vote for a radical left-wing party? Try harder next time, I guess. Oh, by the way, I’m going to really enjoy my new collection of guns.

      • As an outsider in Canada, I think that there are no true left-wing parties left except the Green Party, which only took one riding in British Columbia. There is little, if any, libertarian sentiment in Canada, because that is associated with being right-wing rather than independent.

    • Scott says:

      Also a Canadian, I’d like to officially apologise for Bruce Gavin Ward. Many of us Canadian’s are idealists with no idea of the consequences of our actions. Sorry folks. Sorry poor people.

  18. admacisaac says:

    <3 You folks keep up the great work. Looking forward to seeing some video of this to blend into the 1984 report from Peter Kent on how climate change is so important.

  19. jean says:

    it doesnt do much good..doing this unless.everyone..at once..did this..ya no thoses peaple that sit behind those desk.like to think ..that were fighting them..maybe thier the ones fighting us..!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Dr. Don Goodeve says:

    Brilliant! Well done! Doing something like this takes courage to really stand up for what you believe in and send a strong message. I am so proud of these young people for what they have done.

  21. The two main problems I have with Harper are:

    1. He blew a $ 13 BILLION Liberal surplus & racked up a $ 64 BILLION Con deficit

    2. He’s killing democracy in Canada

    http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2010-2011/youshouldhavestayedathome/

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/steveharper/article/825809–travers-changing-canada-one-backward-step-at-a-time

  22. Canada’s Tory Tradition is Now Officially Dead

    The Conservative Party that started with Sir John A. MacDonald officially dissolved in 2003, when the Reform-Alliance bought them out, replacing the Progressive Conservative platform with a Republican style conservatism.

    Though a few of the old progressives or what were referred to as ‘Red Tories’, remained, Stephen Harper made it his mission to change that.

    http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2010/09/canadas-tory-tradition-is-now.html

  23. *janet says:

    These people should not have been expelled from the conference. They were attending legitimately and all they did was quietly stand up – the applause and approval of the other people there. The most frightening aspect of all this is the silencing of opinion, which is being enforced more and more as the only recourse available to those unable to defend their behaviour intelligently.

  24. Julie & Vincent says:

    we are all guilty for using this stuff. However… the technology is already out there so that minimal amounts can be used but the oil companies buy it up and lock it up because the environment takes a back seat to profit… I would like to see all these politicians & corporate heads live in these exploited tar sand areas for at least 1 year so they can feel 1st hand what the health effects are on people and the environment, maybe if they had to watch their children die from toxins they would change how they do business …

  25. adam ray says:

    So who exactly are the Canadian Youth Delegation ? Who are they affiliated with and who funded them. They most certainly are not elected by Canada’s youth and therefore do not speak for Canada’s youth.
    I’m tired of self proclaimed individuals and groups claiming to speak for Canada rather than identifying themselves as who they are and who they truly represent which is themselves.

  26. Edith says:

    Very inspiring ! Proud of you guys !

  27. As a fellow Canadian and Albertan I support these youth for what they stood for. It is the failure of not just our nation but of many to bow before the might of the oil companies. I agree we need oil to make our lives more comfortable but corn is being used now for many of the same applications. we have a responsibility to make our future livable for our kids and theirs. So Kudos to the 6 who stood up for what they believe in.

  28. Great work – thanks so much…and I agree with Bruce Gavin Ward… Above…

  29. amaysia says:

    It just goes to show that the government the some Canadians (certainly not I) voted for does not represent the view of the Canadian people, and especially not the future of Canada. Well done.

  30. Crispin says:

    Fantastic! These Canadians represent the MAJORITY of us. Unlike the Harper government.

  31. John Turnbull says:

    Congratulations! Well done.

  32. SMacPherson says:

    Wow. These kids will be treated as heroes once they return from Africa. Of course, it’ll take a couple weeks, what with travelling by sail and all.

  33. Sumer says:

    Either you guys are super smart and know something that nobody else in Alberta does, or you must be really immature to do such a thing. The Alberta oilsands are probably the ONLY thing apart from the upcoming mining industry in Canada that is keeping our economy afloat. If it wasnt for the oilsands, Alberta would be dead and so would most of Canada and we would all be yelling at our Govt for not doing anything to create some kind of job creation stimulous.

    As far as the environment is concerned, Alberta and Canada govts have some of the most stringent measures to reclaim the land they mine for oilsands. Companies here are spending billions of dollars on projects that dont do anything but reclaim mined land tp its natural state complete with a bustling forest or lake. And they are not making ANY money by doing this, simply following provincial and federal requirements.

    Might as well stop farming too.. Sheesh.

    Be thankful for the oilsands. Be very thankful.

    • amaysia says:

      I think many of us are well aware of the petroleum dependent world that we live in. That doesn’t mean that we can’t look for alternatives, reduce our reliance on petroleum products, and try to use more natural products. What these young people did was indicate that their generation isn’t just willing to give up let our planet ecosystem be trashed because we aren’t even willing to try to change our behaviours.
      Also, as far as the environment is concerned, companies here are spending millions of dollars do develop environmental management projects, some of which have done pretty decent jobs, some of which have just made really nice corporate sustainability reports. No matter how good a job you do of reclaiming a site to its ‘natural state complete with a bustling forest or lake’, it won’t have its initial productivity because wildlife will have moved, ecosystem function will have changed, groundwater and bedrock might have been contaminated, etc. etc.
      And of course they aren’t going to MAKE money by fixing the land they destroyed in the first place. But don’t tell yourself that they are not making any money, because the environmental impacts have been worked into the project long before any work starts, and if it’s not economically viable, the project won’t go ahead.

      • Zachary Kelly says:

        But there’s no use in protesting for the sake of protesting. Sure it would be nice to have some ‘Miracle Fuel’ but that’s not the case. Protesting to replace is fine, but coming out and essentially saying “Your wrong, and we don’t know how to fix it, but screw you for giving us what we wanted in the first place”. Embarrassing to think that this is the view we are giving the rest of the world

      • emilienovaczek says:

        I agree! That’s why we come to these negotiations and present our government with an alternative policy document, presenting exactly the changes and solutions we’d like to see at COP. We also work throughout the year to promote solutions, civic engagement and climate education across the country so that Canada can build up the alternatives to today’s dirty politics and fossil fuel addictions.

  34. I want to see you at the next “WE Day” in Winnipeg… this is youth diplomacy at it’s finest.
    Thanks for taking a stand!

  35. Faith says:

    Thank you so much Youth Delegation. I am not a youth anymore, but I would have proudly stood by your sides with an exclamation mark on my back. I was at the COP convention in Montreal (Liberals were in power) and was so proud of my country then. Now, I am ashamed. I say the youth of today are a source of hope for this world, and you are giving me hope

    • Faith, let’s face it, you both hate your country and are living the life of an ABSOLUTE HYPOCRITE. The fact that you want the children of our country to be without heat and, without healthcare should remind everyone to immediately walk on the other side of the street as you. What a terrible, cruel, and hateful person you are!

      • Emma N. says:

        Robert, I hope that was a bad joke? You can get heat and healthcare without relying on oil nearly as much as we do now. Check out geothermal and solar heating. it’s pretty sweet.

      • Faith says:

        Robert.

        Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words : ). You have indeed made me realize how important activism is. Please keep encouraging me – I enjoy it tremendously.

        Warmest wishes,and say hi to Steve H for me.

        Faith

  36. ellen says:

    I am saddened and disgusted by the stand taken by the Harper government. I gladly call it the Harper government because as a Canadian I did not vote for him and he does not represent me.

    Thank you to those young people who took a stand!!

  37. That is awesome. Good for you Canadian youth. You are strong courageous people. If you haven’t seen “THRIVE” the movie yet, watch it. It is very eye opening to what the powers that be have in mind, and it is not in our best interest, that is for sure.

  38. caroline shepard says:

    why is the news here in Canada not mentioning the applause and standing ovation? did it happen that way or not? surely there’s a video record of it somewhere?
    CKS

  39. caroline shepard says:

    so proud of our courageous youth!
    CKS

  40. How did they get there, these carbon spewing, self-aggrandizing little hypocrites?

    It’s a long way from Canada to Durban – surely they swam.

  41. andycanuck says:

    So did they walk to Durban or were they allowed to fly there as part of the enviro elite?

  42. Jim Barker says:

    guess Climategate 2.0 hasn’t made much impact on the brainwashed among us?!?

  43. Mike in Calgary says:

    I have a motorcycle. I have two actually. I love to travel. Fast. I also have a snowmobile. And a Ford F350. And a Glastron 70HP boat. Am I a bad person? Oh, and I also fly Westjet, like all the time. That’s right: I fly on big airplanes, just like the ones these sanctimonious laypeople flew to Durban.

  44. Alex says:

    i <3 alberta oil

  45. rzr says:

    Could you guys show up the Chinese while you’re there too? They’re incredible polluters.

  46. Trace McKenna says:

    Actually, according to the latest poll figures 63.5% clearly agree with the direction of Canada’s government. That puts most of the commenters here in an ever dwindling minority.

  47. Deadman says:

    Just one question: how did these marvelous representatives of Canadian misanthracism get to South Africa? Did they make their way by kayak, perhaps?

  48. Knacker says:

    Has anyone here been to the oil sands? The “sands” didn’t become oily by us, they have been saturated for a very long time by oil deposits underground. People get praised for putting out naturally occurring forest fires, but people get crapped on for cleaning up natural oil spills.

    People love all the “stuff” they can get from oil, yet they have no clue what it is.

  49. You’re all a bunch of hypocrites who don’t walk your talk. Prior to Canada shutting down the Oil Sands, each of you should spend a year living without everything that this amazing resource in our country provides:
    – Transportation
    – Plastic
    – Computers
    – Television
    – Heat
    – Health care

    Are ANY of you prepared to give up any of these for more than a few days? I think not. Instead, you fly down to South Africa and serve as Useful Idiots for your political masters. Bravo!

  50. Patsplace says:

    Great to see Canada standing up for the truth. Mr. Kent is 100% correct, in spite of the fact that it flies in the face of the Religion of Global Warming. I, like the majority of Canadians applaud Mr. Kent’s actions and the actions of the Government of Canada. The sooner we are no longer tied to this disgusting band of thieves the better.

  51. Winnipeg Pooh says:

    Makes me ashamed to be Canadian to see these moonbats.

  52. As a proud Canadian, proud Albertan and proud Calgarian. The six need to brain up. $184 million went to Saudi Arabia, in 2010, for its “Clean” oil. You worry about Canada’s 21.7% increase in GHG emissions, when China’s have gone up 257% since 1990.

  53. steven says:

    DePape and her group of Liberal Enviro / Eco Fascists are morons
    They need to grow up and get a crip on reality
    They are pathetic and anybody who supports them are simple minded losers

  54. Klaus Kaczor says:

    The Harper government is a dirty government! thanks for your courage and intelligence.Start now to work for an alternative to this gov by the time the next election rolls around, please..

  55. John West says:

    Emilie Novaczek

    It is the OIL Sands, not the tar sands. Wise up. Next, who need some empty headed kids heckling a man who there to tell the elitist eco-twits that he is more interested in keeping Canada economically healthy than putting half the country on welfare and wind up like Greece.

    So sod off and find a more productive job. You car nothing but an ideologue and that’s sooooo tired.

    • emilienovaczek says:

      Hi John,

      As you may imagine, we’re pretty busy down here but since you addressed this comment to me specifically I thought it would be polite to respond.
      I won’t argue tar sands vs. oil sands with you, I don’t think that’s the important issue here. As for maintaining Canadian economy, I think there’s a lot we can learn from from the EU — their economy has grown by 40% while reducing their emissions by 17% since 1990, a target much more ambitious than the ones Canada is currently failing to meet.

      Emilie

      • dave12 says:

        Do you read the papers at all or follow the economic picture of the EU. They are broke with Spain at 21% unemployment and almost every country is a basket case, Ireland, Italy etc. Their demographics are horrible and Europe is dying because of it. All these socialist countries have finally run out of other people’s money to spend and the austerity programs are leading to major civil unrest. The green revolution of wind farms is being abandoned as they only exist because of government subsidies, which they no longer have, and they are finally realizing that these subsidies are killing their private sector jobs.

        On what government subsidy did you use to travel to South Africa?

      • emilienovaczek says:

        If you want to talk subsidy reliance, I’ll direct you to the massive amount of research revealing the billions in fossil fuel subsidies.
        As for our funding, we each fund raised personally and travelled here with the support and generosity of our communities!

      • dave12 says:

        Fossil fuels and their by-products have given us Canadians the greatest standard of living the world has ever seen with the longest life span to enjoy it. You and your ilk are only interested in destroying our economy and way of life for the lie of global warming/climate change and your watermelon agenda. It is purely a scam by the left to beggar our country by transferring our wealth to 3rd world despots.

        The funding of you so-called environmentalists is done by people like George Soros and countries like Saudi Arabia, which is why Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore left his organization as it was taken over by you radicals not interested in building up our country but tearing it down. Democratic Canada is an easy target, try China for your next protest.

        Here is another example of your scam, the rising sea level, uncovered by Nils-Axel Mörner.

        “In 2003 the satellite altimetry record was mysteriously tilted upwards to imply a sudden sea level rise rate of 2.3mm per year. When I criticized this dishonest adjustment at a global warming conference in Moscow, a British member of the IPCC delegation admitted in public the reason for this new calibration: ‘We had to do so, otherwise there would be no trend.’”

        Nils-Axel Mörner was head of paleogeophysics and geodynamics at Stockholm University (1991-2005), president of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution (1999-2003), leader of the Maldives sea level project (2000-11), chairman of the INTAS project on geomagnetism and climate (1997-2003).

    • @John West – at least these young people have the balls to stand up for what they believe in and not hide behind an alias.

  56. Quinn Runkle says:

    Thank-you to these youth for doing what a majority of Canadians wish they could! I stand with my back turned to the Canadian gov’t and their embarrassing actions in solidarity with you six and with the 60% of Canadians who are not represented by our government.

  57. Mark Brown says:

    Mathew: You need to think out of the box. Yes, the our society runs right now because of fossil fuels. But you have big oil lobbyists doing things like killing the electric car and getting as much oil out of the ground as fast as possible to line their pockets (with the help of our leaders). I believe we are asking our leaders to start to think and act creatively so that we can have a future on this planet. These arguments like “If you are so much against fossil fuels, quit driving your car or eating food that came in a truck” are not productive.

  58. Ryan says:

    I worked at the Alberta oil sands for a few years, and I am wondering, are these Canadian tar sands nearby? If these tar sands are as dirty as you claim then why doesn’t Canada shut them down and simply increase production of good clean oil from the Alberta oil sands?

  59. Jimmy Cricket says:

    Talk about brownshirts, those six at Durban and the people who support their actions.

    Willful idiots, either ignorant of the world arena today or paid for by our competitors, i.e. China.

    You six: if you have balls, protest against China. I have been there, I have seen their factories and mining operations. Canadian factories and mining operations are the example other countries should aspire to.

  60. peterj says:

    Good grief….talk about brainwashed. Some day when you all move out of your parents basement and actually have to work for a living, you will find out the hard way that without this “dirty ” oil you will be revisiting the stone age. The rest of this hysteria is over a trace gas that will be joked about in the future. Thankfully Harper is smart enough to see through this nonsense.

  61. montrealmarlo says:

    BRAVO de Montréal! You set an example for adults and youth everywhere! Excellent action! COURAGE et lâche pas! (Don’t give up)

  62. Richards in Vancouver says:

    Wonderful!
    But gotta ask: what non-polluting method did you use to get to Durban?
    Did those great tee-shirts contain any non-organic fibers?
    How about the ink?

  63. DrD says:

    I admire such dedication not to mention the feat of seamanship that must have brought these youth by sail across the Atlantic. The resolute courage printed on their faces is certainly that of hardened sea dogs accustomed to the privations of the long voyage. It will be many months yet before they’ll be able to sail home as I’m sure they’ll not be using any filthy fossil fuel powered aircraft, when, as prominent environmentalist George Monbiot has said, “Flying kills.” All the best through the roaring forties, may the trade winds blow you fair, and may the storms of the Gulf of Alaska not dismast your ship. To your safe arrival some time in the spring of the new year.
    Note: I’ve assumed they’re walking the talk, not just putting on a publicity stunt like a collection of gullible, self-righteous hypocrites.

  64. Greg G says:

    Bravo to the Canadian youths who forsaking fossil fuels swam all the way to Durban!……oh wait

  65. Older AND Wiser says:

    So typical of socialist youth. A couple of questions. Did you solely fund your own costs for travel, registration, hotel and meals? Or was it paid for – partially or fully – by someone else?

    How did you get there and what was your carbon usage in doing so? Is this rationalized through the ‘end justifies the means’? IOW, was your attendence so critical that the exhorbitant use of fossil fuels is commendable rather than deplorable?.

    Have you ever had a job(s) in the private sector? Do you have any empathy for those who work to raise their families, pay their mortgages and save to send their kids to college and/or save for retirement?

    Do you acknowledge that after extraction, the oil sands are ‘re-furbished’ and returned to grass lands and boreal forest?

    • J-O says:

      Typical capitalist talk! You truly believe that the oil sands are ‘re-furbished’ and returned to grass lands and boreal forest? Don’t you understand it’s all fake so you people like you can defend the Harper position? You talk about empathy with a pretty narrow vision….your vision!

      • Both views are not quite reality. I think that it is a valid point that it is the state that delivered the kids to South Africa and using the fuel they are protesting, but they are asking for acknowledgment of the issue in the dialogue and some kind of effort to be made to move on to another resource. People need to be employed, and we should not chastise those who have worked hard in this industry, as it may be the only option in many districts. I dare anyone in Canada to make a totally honest living with no outside support from something morally questionable or handouts. Conversely, let’s not pretend that it’s a clean industry, either!

        Capitalism is not a bad thing, and neither is a socialist state.

      • Older AND Wiser says:

        The editor of ‘Reason’ magazine recently surveyed the oil sands revitalization project and while admitting that he was previously sceptical of the oil sands project, he left with a very positive impression of not only the initiative of the companies involved, but with the results.

        The hundreds (and what will eventually be thousands) of acres are thriving in terms of plant and tree growth and the establishment of range land for species ranging from birds to ungulates and predators of those ungulates.

        In other words, the land is more productive than it was as nature herself had created with the underlying oily soils.

        It won’t fit with your preconceived realities and thus remains an inconvenient truth.

  66. stephen ottridge says:

    as a 69 year old world (Canadian) citizen I would like to officially apologize for the stupid, rude antics of these six young Canadians. I did vote for the current Canadian Government and I care very much about my planet.

    • BoGoWo says:

      i guess that’s 69 year, “old world” citizen!

    • J-O says:

      As a 69 years old citizen you should know by now not to judge! It does not matter if you care about environment because your Goverment obviously does not! Don’t judbe by reflecting only on yourself. The majority of Canadians did not voted for this Harper governement. I’m youth canadian and I am ashamed of this government. Go read more about the futur plans of Tar sands, it will destroy the life quality of your little children….

      • dave12 says:

        You write like an ill-educated ‘youth canadian’, poor spelling, sentence structure and little knowledge of your subject.

        The majority of Canadians rarely vote for the winning party, only Conservative governments seem to win with over 50%, funny that, eh. 63.5% of Canadians in the recent survey agree with the direction of our government.

        Ezra Levant wrote an excellent book called Ethical Oil on Alberta’s oil sands, why don’t you read it, might give you a new perspective on one of the major pillars of our Canadian economy.

  67. pachamama love says:

    <3 thank you! !!!!! <3

  68. R. Ed Neck says:

    OK, a little outside the box think here, and more slowly…

    IF THE OILSANDS EXIST NATURALLY, AND WE REMOVE THE OIL AND RETURN THE CLEANED SAND TO THE EARTH, THEN AREN’T WE CLEANING UP THE WORLDS LARGEST OIL SLICK?

    Cause, you know, we are here to wreck the planet and all. No one else can possibly love it. Thank god for our little snowflakes.

  69. I just hope the canadian government does not backstab its youths for the protest in Durban. I look foward to a time when Nigerian youths would begin to be truly cooperative and work in unison at high level meetings.

  70. Gaetan says:

    Wow! There is hope for a better future. Who are these 30% of Canadians who voted for Harper and his gang intent on raping our future?

  71. Private says:

    Pathetic, truly pathetic. I hope they have to pay their own way home.

  72. Anna says:

    Unfortunately, I will not turn my back on Canada. As a youth who is continually embarrassed by her generation’s willingness to engage in over-the-top environmental activism while simultaneously enjoying all the benefits that the oilsands and Canada’s booming energy industry provide, I’m less than impressed by this attempt at protest. Were I on your side to begin with, I would still question the means. Why turn your back on a problem? The key is to face it head on, not throw a childlike tantrum by refusing to face up to the situation. The above demonstration is akin to plugging your ears, stomping your feet, while yelling “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”. Unfortunately, it seems to be passing itself off as valid political debate. Publicity stunts are the lowest form of protest.

    • Geoffrey says:

      These people were saying “turn your back on Canada”. Agreed that the message should probably be to argue the idiotic rhetoric of the so called progressive government into the ground, but maybe it couldn’t fit on the shirts ;) I think however that the concept of “turning one’s back” to a speaker while they are attempting to bring their influence into the parliament of the United Nations is valid. It doesn’t mean “I don’t hear you” coming from leaders of state, it means “You aren’t saying anything valid and as a politician I don’t have time for this bullshit because it’s not beneficial to me doing my job.” As a political statement I think that’s valid… in previous conferences, can’t remember which but I believe it was one of the last climate change meetings, representatives from some countries walked out when Canada (Harper I believe) came to speak.
      I would also disagree that publicity stunts are the lowest form of protest – they can and have been, but it’s not always so. When publicity stunts don’t have an educational component then perhaps so, but believing that P.R. shouldn’t exist in protest situations is like believing that the government of Canada is so transparent that you don’t see *their* P.R. everywhere already, not to mention those that influence them and whose values they espouse.

  73. marcmarc says:

    I did not realize there were so many brainwashed Canadians,i take it you will all walk home from Durban.

    • Ben Ronning says:

      Dude, there’s a whole ocean between us and South Africa. They will have to swim most of the way, through shark infested waters.

  74. peterj says:

    Can’t have opposing views eh ? Gore/Suzuki would be proud of you. Brainwashing is so difficult to undo. So sad.

  75. Krystal Conway says:

    I support these youth entirely! I am a youth myself and I believe we need to stand together to show the older generations it is time for change. We cannot continue to live as we do. We must stand up and fix the mistakes from the past generations. We must prevent the continuous harm done to the enviroment. This is a cause I am behind a 100%.

  76. Dave Loewen says:

    I too applaud youth anytime they mobilize to present another perspective. I only wonder sometimes if there is an equal concern for balanced perspectives. To what extent are critics engaged in self-examination – personal lifestyle choices and standards of living that are heavily dependent on this fuel source? http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/12/01/national-post-editorial-board-desmond-tutu-and-the-oilsands-misguided-critics/

  77. Noeline Villebrun says:

    What happened to Arctic Day. I fought with the Canadian Government to ensure the Arctic Cirrumpolar had a forum! We must continue with the flow of information through this forum!

  78. Noeline Villebrun says:

    Where are the Arctic Athabascan Leaders! Obviously, they are not doing their jobs!

  79. David Wilson says:

    Good on you! I heard the applause in the middle of his ridiculous speech and wondered what it was – and it was for you, and I am sitting here in front of this little screen applauding too – I am SO proud of you.

  80. ccsummer says:

    If young people are becoming active like this, I have hope for the world. Great work kids!

  81. Laurent Desbois says:

    Avec ces jeunes canadians à chemises unilingues anglais, en temps que Québécois, je ne me sens pas concerné. J’ai juste hâte que ma nation siège librement aux instances des Nations Unies !

  82. Markon says:

    Way to go! I mean, who wouldn’t be proud of hiding-the-decline and fudged data and the rest of the “science”? Who doesn’t believe in computer models that spit out “global warming” evidence when random numbers are used as input? Who doesn’t believe the IPCC when WWF activists write their summary report? Who doesn’t believe that polar bears are imperiled when their population has gone from a staggering 5,000 to a paltry 25,000 over the last half century? Who doesn’t believe scientists who refuse to share their code and data?

    I will give you one thing. Exposing your ignorance to the world makes our Canadian education system look bad – and that exposure is sorely needed.

  83. Laurent Desbois says:

    Le fossé se creuse entre le Québec et le Canada! Harper représente très bien ce Canada! Ce n’est pas Harper personnellement qui est en cause, c’est l’appartenance à ce cher Canada !

  84. Luce pilon says:

    Right on!!! Great courage, great strategy. Keep on fighting! You are a bright light guiding us all.

  85. Mr. Fitz says:

    Well done!!!! I’m very proud of these young people. It just goes to show that there are still some people in country with the moxy to stand up for themselves and be heard. I am very impressed.

  86. Doug says:

    That’s so brave…..tell me when you plan to do this Tehran.

    useful idiots.

  87. Bugzy says:

    Where will the monies come from if no oil, where it has been coming from hundreds of years before the moratorum was lifted in Alberta. Most if not all provinces collect taxes for the federal government when we file income taxs and send that to the Federal governments and that is where the majority of the monies come from . If your cult party does not agree then maybe provinces need to quit sending them any money at all and Canadians should quit filing income taxes. Most of us get nothing for our efforts. Do you also remember when the federal government was sending Alberta their share of those taxes& likely still does? . I don’t think so. Do you remember maybe 10 years ago when Alberta was sending their welfare cases to BC? No… Again I didn’t think so. You parrots simply remember what you choose to remember and forget all the negativity in your own province and your corrupted federal government.

    Have you chosen to ignore that in the north, tar sands, begins in northern BC to Sask and not only in Alberta? Obviously you have and your Con government had done all it can to keep you people living in ignorant bliss.

  88. Penny Kollar says:

    You guys give me hope. ! You should be making a stand your futures are being stolen ! Keep up the good work !

  89. sandra hall says:

    My government makes me ashamed to be a Canadian, you kids make me proud.

  90. Marie-Claire says:

    I know that it is easy to use categories to explain who we are and where our opinions come from. But it is so much more helpful to discussion if we can think of ourselves outside of stereotypes. I am not a conservative, a liberal, a youth, a senior, a hippy, a hick, nor any other narrowly defining word. I am a person with a motley collection of ideas, opinions, traditions and passions. Sometimes I have an opinion that is similar to other people, similar to traditionally conservative or liberal thought, but that doesn’t mean that I am on one team in competition with all others. I love Canada, and I think being Canadian is pretty darn great, but it really gets me down when we pit ourselves against each other, defending sides that really aren’t all that different. I am guilty of doing this. Every once and I while I think “How can ______ be so blind?” or “Do the _____ not care about anything?” but then I remember that these are made up categories that only serve to divide and alienate. I don’t mean we have to go around hugging each other all day (that would be… a little too “canadian”), but, even just on this comment board, treat each other like individuals and not as despicable stereotypes. Hi, my name is Marie-Claire, pleased to respect you.

  91. Well done! You are courageous and make me proud to be a Canadian. Once Canada showed leadership in many areas (by signing the Kyoto accord). Now we have no credibility on a global level. You are part of the resistance that is growing in this country. Thank you for your strength and your powerful statement.
    Kiley

  92. rog says:

    Idiot children, you need energy to live.

  93. Ben MacLeod says:

    Nice job guys! Sonia, I did a double take when I saw your photo in the Herald this morning. Yeesh, the internet armchair critics are foaming at the mouth with ugly language here…ignore them.

  94. xiphoidfugu says:

    I’ve noticed how short sighted many Canadians are. We need the tar sands to subsidise all the other provinces….really…you’re a Conservative promoting welfare for the have not provinces? Let’s look at history for a moment…Some of the wealthiest provinces in the past were big manufacturers….where have all those productive jobs gone? Out of country..China, Mexico, Viet Nam, Cambodia, etc. The poorer the people of Canada get because we now rely on service industry jobs like McDonalds and Wal-Mart, the more we rely on the social safety nets to try and keep a basic standard of living. To think that Alberta’s oil sands can sustain the entire economy of Canada is absurd. Turning to a globalised, unfair market (unfair because we can’t compete with the lower operational costs in third world countries, safety standards, red tape, etc.) is what is destroying what we once enjoyed. Problem was that everyone wanted more and more and more,but wanted to pay less and less and less…well…we got it…and now we suffer. How does everyone like their cheaply made, disposable goods? More people could afford more back then with higher priced Canadian and American made goods and well paying middle class jobs. Now there are How do you like dealing with the consequences of consumer greed? We can’t place all the blame on the greed of corporations. Something else to consider…Canada boasts the second largest oil reserves in the world (if you don’t count venezuela’s extra heavy petro with high sulfur content)..some even claim we have higher reserves, climbing into the trillions of barrels, higher than even Saudi Arabia. So why the sudden rush to extract as much as we can as fast as we can? I doubt anyone can claim we can kick our oil dependency completely..but we can lower it quite significantly AND be prosperous as an entire nation again….some people don’t give human beings enough credit…we’re too stupid to evolve and advance technologically…and find new sources for survival and sustainability. If we weren’t such greedy consumers, then oil would not be as big an issue.

  95. Laurent Desbois says:

    Le fossé se creuse entre le Québec et le Canada! Harper représente très bien ce Canada! Ce n’est pas Harper personnellement qui est en cause, c’est l’appartenance à ce cher Canada !

    Avec ces jeunes canadians à chemises unilingues en anglais, en temps que Québécois, je ne me sens pas concerné. J’ai juste hâte que ma nation siège librement aux instances des Nations Unies !

    Effectivement….“Turn your back on Canada”

  96. Jean-Olivier Paquin says:

    L’impact du geste va au delà des questions de langues. En tant que jeune Québécois, je me reconnait et applaudit cette action.

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  1. […] https://canadianyouthdelegation.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/press-release-youth-turn-their-backs-on-cana… TURN THEIR BACKS ON CANADIAN GOVERNMENT DURING OPENING SPEECH  High Resolution Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cydcancun/  Durban, South Africa – Members of the Canadian Youth Delegation were ejected from COP17 today as Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent delivered his opening address at the United Nations climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa. Just as Kent began his speech, six youth stood and turned away from the Minister revealing the message “Turn your back on Canada” prominently displayed on their shirts. […]

  2. […] article about the youth here. And to hear about it in the 6 youths’ own words, read about it here or listen to a podcast […]

  3. […] Wednesday morning, six young Canadians walked out of Environment Minister Peter Kent’s plenary address to the United Nations climate negotiations. […]

  4. […] Wednesday morning, six young Canadians walked out of Environment Minister Peter Kent’s plenary address to the United Nations climate negotiations. […]

  5. […] to regurgitate the same series of scripted lies he’s been spewing for several months, to our silent protest of Canada’s horrendous climate policy. A few minutes later, we were escorted out of the plenary by armed UN security guards, but not […]

  6. […] people whose actions created space for us to step up and see the possibilities. First, our friends from the Canadian Youth Delegation turned their backs on their Environment Minister in plenary, promptly getting evicted to rapturous attention from the world’s media and everyone […]

  7. […] image. Unbeknownst to many, Canada is rapidly become a climate pariah. Our own citizens turn their backs on the environment […]

  8. […] delegation stood up during his speech, turned around and displayed messages on their tshirts saying “Turn Your Back on Canada”. As they were taken away by security, the conference gave them a standing ovation. by CYD_DJC […]

  9. […] delegation stood up during his speech, turned around and displayed messages on their tshirts saying “Turn Your Back on Canada”. As they were taken away by security, the conference gave them a standing ovation. Canadian youth […]

  10. […] on behalf of the Canadian government, bought back our future, welcomed the environment minister, turned our backs on Canada during the minister’s speech, sent out very strong newsletters and podcasts, and inspired a lot […]

  11. […] Durban, South Africa – Members of the Canadian Youth Delegation were ejected from COP17 today as Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent delivered his opening address at the United Nations climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa. Just as Kent began his speech, six youth stood and turned away from the Minister revealing the message “Turn your back on Canada” prominently displayed on their shirts. “Our so-called Environment Minister entered these talks by going on record that he would be defending the tar sands. Press Release: CANADIAN YOUTH EJECTED FROM COP17 « CYD-DJC […]



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