camfenton camfenton, October 23, 2015

Updated Nov 3rd

Over the past two weeks we’ve been talking to each other, to many of you, and listening to a lot of questions about what we’re going to do now that Prime Minister Trudeau isn’t moving into 24 Sussex. We appreciate all of the feedback we received, and we think we came up with a plan of action. 

With only a few weeks until the Paris Climate talks begin, we know that Parliament won’t convene before talks begin. Thus, the burden of changing Canada’s direction on climate ahead of these crucial negotiations lands squarely on the shoulders of the Prime Minister, and why delivering our message directly to him is so important.

For the past three months we’ve been poring over and planning every detail of the Climate Welcome action to make sure that Canada’s new Prime Minister understands need for bold climate action. But even with all that – sometimes plans need to change.

As soon as we found out that the Prime Minister wouldn’t be moving into 24 Sussex, and the residence was up for renovations, we decided a few things:

  • First, we decided to deliver copies of all the gifts we’re bringing on the first two days of this sit-in to the Prime Minister’s Office. We’re putting them in the mail them in the mail tomorrow to make sure that he has every report and petition that we’re bringing in person. We’re also sending him an email each day with copies of what we’re sending, and asking for him to come accept the gifts and meet our demands – freeze tar sands expansion and commit to a justice based transition to a clean energy economy.
  • Second, we decided to bring a special gift to help with the renovations that Trudeau is considering –  Canadian made solar panels. It’s 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’re bringing them on the last day of the sit-ins, a gift that demonstrates a first step he can take on the pathway toward a clean energy economy in Canada.

We’ve also been keeping a close eye on the developments at 24 Sussex itself, trying to make a decision about whether or not to still show up at the home described as “belonging to the nation”. The truth is that, whether he is living in it or not, 24 Sussex remains the official residence of the Prime Minister. But, we also know that sitting in front of an empty house sends a bit of an odd message, and so now we have a plan.

Here it is:

Each day we’ll gather at the same place, Rideau Falls Park. We’ll then march down Sussex Dr. and stop in front of 24 Sussex where we’ll gather before we risk arrest by crossing the street and heading towards the Prime Minister’s residence on the grounds of Rideau Hall. Our goal will be to deliver our gifts to the Prime Minister, and with them send a powerful message.

If we do this, we think that we will likely be risking arrest when we cross Sussex and attempt to walk towards Rideau Hall — instead of while sitting in outside 24 Sussex. 

Our whole team has now arrived in Ottawa and walked through the day by day plan for the Climate Welcome this week. Hundreds of people have said that they’re coming from all across Canada. We’ve collected water from the Salish Sea, Lesser Slave Lake and the Atlantic Ocean, and dozens of places in between. We think that this action can set the tone for a new era of climate ambition in Canada – I hope you’ll join us.