What will the action look like?
The plan is to peacefully sit-in in front of the Prime Minister’s Residence at 24 Sussex Dr each day and deliver a series of “welcome gifts” for the Prime Minister. These “gifts” will be gathered from across Canada and tell a story of people power growing and demanding real climate action and a new, clean energy economy in Canada.
After the election we’ll be finalizing the plan and a schedule for each day which we’ll share to give you a sense of what’s planned each day.
What are the legal issues involved with this action, and what support is provided?
Note: participants planning on partaking in civil disobedience must be at least 18 years old
We absolutely cannot guarantee anything in the legal process but there is a long tradition of civil disobedience and similar actions in Ottawa, with fairly consistent responses. If you intend to participate in the action, you must attend a training and an action briefing prior to the action. Trainings will include a legal briefing about what to be prepared for and expect.
All participants need to be responsible for their own safety and well-being (while being accountable to the broader group and the Action Guidelines). This includes legal support. We are working to provide basic legal support and advice to participants, but we cannot guarantee any other support beyond that.
Be aware that if you have extenuating circumstances (citizenship or immigration issues, or have outstanding warrants or an existing criminal record) your situation could be handled very differently than our legal briefing will be able to account for. We encourage people in these situations to consult a lawyer, and recognize that your situation could be very complicated for yourself, and the rest of the action. We are not encouraging minors to participate.
Can you help pay for my travel and any potential legal costs?
We are able to provide some support for bus rides, more information coming on that soon.
Through donations we do hope to support frontline communities and other allies who might not otherwise have the means to attend. A fundraising effort is also going to be launched in order to provide financial support for those risking arrest. More information on this will be coming soon.
Let us know if you need support and want to come, or if you can OFFER support or a donation.
Will there be training for participants?
Yes, there will be nightly trainings and morning trainings before each action that will go over the plan in detail, answer questions and do everything possible to prepare people taking action for what’s to come. There will also be a series of webinars in October and November leading up to the action to answer questions and go in depth into the plan. For more information about the webinars and to see a full schedule, click here.
Why are we risking arrest?
We’ve rallied, we’ve marched, we’ve written op-eds, we’ve confronted politicians and still Canada has remained a pariah on the world stage when it comes to climate action. We also know that we simply don’t have time to wait three, two or even one year for a new government to get it’s act together on climate.
We are ready to step up our mobilizations to demonstrate the urgency and immediate need for action in the face of a catastrophic global crisis to Canadian politicians.
How do we know Justin Trudeau doesn’t have a plan in line with the science of climate change?
Justin Trudeau isn’t prepared to keep tar sands oil in the ground. He has close ties to pipeline lobbyists — his campaign co-chair, Daniel Gagnier, worked as a contractor for the embattled pipeline giant TransCanada and gave the company advice on how to lobby Trudeau to get its Energy East project built.
Trudeau has been a supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline, having travelled to the United States to lobby on behalf of the project. He has also expressed support for the Kinder Morgan pipeline, argued that there is “no need for ambitious political numbers” when referring to climate targets and failed to produce a clear plan that would see Canada fulfilling its responsibility to the globally agreed-upon ceiling for warming of two degrees Celsius.
At the same time, Trudeau has promised “real action” on climate change that would see an end to fossil fuel subsidies, an overhaul of the pipeline review process to include climate change considerations and investments in clean energy. If he stays true to his word, the approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline could be reversed within the coming weeks, ending that project once and for all.
It’s for these reasons we think Justin Trudeau can do the right thing on climate change — if we push him to do the right thing. Click here to read more.
How can I get involved if I don’t want to risk arrest?
Each day there will be a rally and short march to support those risking arrest, we’re working to do everything we can to make sure that people will be able to join these without putting themselves in a position of risking arrest.
We can’t confirm how the action will unfold exactly but as in every direct action there will be support roles that can be filled by folks coming to Ottawa for this action. The evening trainings and morning briefing before each action day will include a full legal briefing so people can make an informed choice about risking arrest.
Will there be arrangements for housing and accommodations?
We’ve created a couch-surfing and housing share system, as well as found hotels, hostels and other accommodation options in the city. We’ll be continuing to work to find as much free or close to free accommodation as possible. Click here to find out more about housing options.
How can I get to Ottawa?
We’ve put together a ride-share board to post ride offers and to help you find a cheap or free ride to Ottawa. Community groups are also starting to work on organizing buses that will be posted on the board once the details are confirmed. Click here to find out more about transportation.
Why do we need to freeze the expansion of tar sands?
The best climate change science that we have tells us that in order for us to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures, we need to keep two thirds of fossil fuel reserves in the ground. For Canada, to play its part, scientific studies have determined that at least 85% of the tar sands must stay in the ground.
In addition to having devastating climate impacts, the tar sands have had devastating impacts on downstream Indigenous communities and they heavily breach Canada’s duty to consult and accommodate First Nations. Studies have confirmed that the expansion of the tar sands has caused cancer and other chronic illnesses in the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
When it comes to tar sands, we’re in a hole, and when you’re in a hole like this, the first rule is to stop digging. Freezing the expansion of the tar sands is a crucial first step to stopping Canada from going the wrong direction that we’ve been travelling and to start going the right direction.
What does this mean for pipelines?
Tar sands pipelines are being planned to facilitate a drastic expansion of tar sands extraction that is incompatible with a safe climate future. Freezing tar sands expansion should mean that Canada could re-evaluate the long term need for fossil fuel infrastructure like pipelines, and determine that it makes more sense to focus on building the kinds of infrastructure that a 21st century clean energy economy requires – clean energy, public transportation and more.
How long should I be in Ottawa for? Can I participate for more than one day?
We are still working on getting full legal assessments but in scenarios like this one, conditions at the time of arrest often include a commitment not to participate to the action the following day. However, if you plan to stay for a few days.
You should plan to arrive the evening prior to the day of the action by 6:00 PM to participate in the training and briefing, and should make flexible arrangements to head home the evening after the action day or plan to spend two nights in Ottawa (we can’t guarantee what time you will be free to go).
What if I can’t come to Ottawa?
We realize that it’s not possible for everyone to make it to Ottawa and if you can’t come, here are some ideas on how you can still support in a big way:
– Make a financial contribution to support people coming to Ottawa
– Organize a fundraiser to help cover legal costs
– Send a water gift from your community to Ottawa
– Amplify your region’s delegation on social media (more social media tools coming)
Who’s organizing this action?
This action is being organized by people and groups across Canada and supported by 350.org, Council of Canadians and the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition.
What’s happening now that Justin Trudeau isn’t moving into 24 Suessex Drive right away?
- First, we’re going to make sure that we deliver copies of all the gifts we’re bringing on the first two days of this sit-in to the Prime Ministers Office. We’ll put them in the mail a few days before the action to make sure that he has every report and petition that we’re bringing in person. We’ll also make sure we email everything that we can put online to the Prime Ministers office and we’ll be sending a request to the Prime Minister to come down and accept the gifts from the welcoming committee each day.
- Second, we’ve decided to bring a special gift to help with the renovations – Canadian made solar panels. It will be a gift with a bit of a catch, that we want to see those panels hooked up and powering the Prime Minister’s residence after the renovations. It would be a powerful symbolic gesture from Mr. Trudeau, to show that his commitment to a clean and just energy economy in Canada. We’ll bring them on the last day of the sit-ins, a gift that demonstrates one step on the pathway forward for Canada.
- Third, we know that by showing up at 24 Sussex, the Prime Minister wont be able to ignore us both being in front of the house, and being in the news every morning and night. Whether or not Mr. Trudeau is choosing to move into 24 Sussex right away, it remains the official residence of the Prime Minister. The house is where the Prime Minister greets foreign dignitaries, hosts important meetings and summits and, in many ways, that house owned by the people and given to the Prime Minister to live in is a symbol of the trust we put in their hands to act in our interest. It’s with this in mind that we’ve decided to still show up at 24 Sussex.
- Last, in the unlikely event that we arrive to find 24 Sussex completely shut down, we have a plan to cross the street and take out sit-in to the grounds of the Prime Ministers temporary residence at Rideau Hall. Read more.
Why is this action taking place on 24 Sussex Drive instead of Parliament Hill?
It is likely that Parliament will not sit before the Paris Climate talks, and thus changing Canada’s position ahead of these talks will all squarely on the shoulders of the PM. 24 Sussex is considered to be partially a residence provided to each sitting Prime Minister, but is also considered to “belongs to nation” – hence the welcoming committee.
Got questions that haven’t been answered here? E-Mail us at [email protected].