Protesters build wall of oil barrels at Alberta Legislature

Protesters braved the snow to rally against oilsands expansion and climate change at the Alberta Legislature Saturday afternoon.

Attendees spoke out against expanding oilsands operations and climate change

About two dozen people gathered near the steps of the Alberta Legislature Saturday afternoon to protest expanding oilsands operations in the province. (CBC)

People braved the snow to rally against oilsands expansion and climate change at the Alberta Legislature Saturday afternoon.

About two dozen people, including Representatives of Greenpeace, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Keepers of the Athabasca, attended the protest, one of 130 similar demonstrations happening across the country today.

Participants are calling for governments to stop the increased use of pipelines, to slow oilsands production and focus on a greener future.

“People are here today to brave the cold to try to deliver that message both to Premier Redford and to Prime Minister Harper,” said Mike Hudema with Greenpeace.

“We’re seeing more and more extreme weather events around the world. It was only a week ago that we saw record typhoons hit the Philippines, causing immense damage there,” said Hudema, who also mentioned the extreme flooding seen across southern Alberta this summer.

Greenpeace's Mike Hudema said more and more Albertans are getting fed up with the environmental and climate impacts of expanding oilsands operations. (CBC)

“These events are becoming more and more frequent the longer we delay action on climate change.”

Protesters in Edmonton built a wall of 116 oil barrels across the legislature steps to represent the amount of carbon dioxide Shell’s Jackpine Mine expansion will produce every second if the plan is approved.

Now, Hudema said, those gathered outside the legislature want to see the government take action on emissions an issue he thinks is particularly important in Alberta.

“If you talk about emissions in Canada, you have to talk about the tarsands because they are the fastest growing source of emissions in the country.”

Hudema said he’d like to see the federal government explore green solutions.

“Other countries are taking the lead – it’s time that Canada do the same.”


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