Canada is going Fossil Free

Let’s move beyond the tar sands.





Photo Credit: Robert van Waarden | Survival Media Agency

As you read this, the largest open-pit tar sands mine ever proposed is under review: Teck Frontier.

The Teck Frontier mine would wreck the climate. Teck Frontier doesn’t fit Canada’s national climate plan or Alberta’s tar sands emissions cap. And it goes against Canada’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.

The Teck Frontier mine violates Indigenous rights. Teck Frontier would exploit lands that the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has declared as off limits for any further tar sands development. Building this mine would explicitly violate Canada’s commitments to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The Teck Frontier mine review is under Harper’s rules. The project is being reviewed under a broken process that insufficiently addresses crucial issues like climate change and UNDRIP. Justin Trudeau promised to replace this broken review process back in 2015. 

We know Prime Minister Trudeau can keep this promise. If we all speak up together, a proper climate review for the Teck Frontier mine is possible. Let’s make it happen.

Dear Prime Minster Trudeau (cc: Minister McKenna & Minister Carr)

Give the Teck Frontier Mine a real review that includes the project’s impacts on climate change and the rights of Indigenous peoples.  You promised to replace Harper’s broken review process. Keep your promise by making sure that Teck Frontier gets a proper review. 

What does it mean for Canada to go Fossil Free?

Canada is home to one of the world’s largest and dirtiest oil reserves – the Alberta tar sands. Digging up all the carbon in this massive deposit of bitumen would completely go against Canada’s commitments in the Paris Agreement.

Beyond that, if extracted and burned, the tar sands alone would ensure the planet crosses the most dangerous climate thresholds.That’s why going Fossil Free in Canada means freezing the expansion of the tar sands. We can do this by stopping massive export pipelines, like the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, and also, by stopping tar sands at the source by ensuring new projects, like the Teck Frontier mine, are rejected because they put our climate at risk and violate the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Why is the Teck Frontier Mine important for the fight against tar sands?

Teck Frontier is a massive open-pit tar sands project that would dig up 260,000 barrels of tar sands oil each and every day for the next fifty years. Building this project will mean tar sands expansion beyond 2060 — well past the point when we need have made the transition off of fossil fuels. This mine will fill major tar sands expansion pipelines like Kinder Morgan and Keystone XL.

Building Teck doesn’t fit Canada’s climate plans. It doesn’t fit within Alberta’s tar sands emissions cap. And it would lock us into the kind of fossil fuel expansion guaranteed to break our commitments under the Paris Agreement and burn up far more than Canada’s fair share of the global carbon budget.

Why is the current review process for the Teck frontier mine broken?

The Teck Frontier Mine is being reviewed under the rules Stephen Harper set. These rules, which gutted Canada’s Environmental Assessment regime to make the review process faster and easier for Big Oil, mean that this review is going forward ignoring crucial issues like climate change and Indigenous rights. This is a process that Justin Trudeau promised to replace when he was elected in 2015.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have the power to fulfill their promise and ensure that the Teck Frontier Mine review considers the project’s massive climate impact and respects the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

How does the Teck Frontier Mine violate Indigenous rights?

More than just locking us into tar sands expansion far past 2050, the Teck Frontier mine violates this government’s commitment to respect Indigenous rights.

If built, the Teck Frontier mine would violate a no-go zone north of the Firebag River in northern Alberta — an area that the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has declared as off limits for any further tar sands development. This project would destroy critical habitat, endanger the land and water, and building it would violate Indigenous rights, breaking Justin Trudeau’s promises for reconciliation and to ratify the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

How do we know we can win?

Earlier this year, the National Energy Board announced that the Energy East pipeline would face a comprehensive upstream and downstream climate review. This came after more than 100,000 people across Canada demanded a climate review of the pipeline, and after thousands applied to speak on climate change in the NEB review. When faced with this kind of reasonable test for the project, in line with Canada’s climate obligations, TransCanada cancelled the project.

We also know that, when pressured by the UN’s World Heritage Commission, Justin Trudeau and his government have already amended the review of the Teck Frontier Mine to include a review of the project’s impact on Wood Buffalo National Park.

Past Campaigns to keep fossil fuels in the ground in Canada

Stop(ped) Energy East

In 2017, the movement for climate justice and Indigenous rights in Canada stopped the largest tar sands pipeline ever proposed. Check out our timeline to find out more about how we got here. More →

Big Oil has no place in Canada’s museums.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, a notorious big oil lobby group, funnels money into trusted cultural spaces — including the iconic Canadian Museum of History — to normalize the dirty fossil fuel industry’s dirty agenda. But after thousands of people signed our petition, and dozens of people took action, the Museum’s decision makers made the commitment to refuse new sponsorship deals with CAPP. More →


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Climate Science Basics: Needs to make the case about action on climate change to family or friends? Here are some basic climate facts.

350 Trainings Resources: Share knowledge, build resources, and run effective workshops to build capacity in the climate justice movement.

Raise a Paddle Film: Watch this film learn more about how the fight against tar sands connects Indigenous communities across the world.

More coming soon

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