Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 18, 2002
Church leaders on list of Kyoto supporters
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
Several religious leaders are on a list of about 150 "prominent Canadians" including authors, entertainers, scientists and athletes, who signed a declaration calling for the immediate ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.
"Kyoto is the beginning of a real legacy for our grandchildren," said actor R.H. Thomson, one of the signatories attending the launch Nov. 5. "We cannot leave them a world mired in environmental debt."
The group is planning other events and activities, including an advertising effort, said the Sierra Club of Canada, which organized the event.
Bishop Jean Gagnon, chair of the social affairs commission of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops; Msgr. Peter Schonenbach, general secretary of the CCCB; Sister Gloria Drouillard, provincial superior of the Sisters of the Holy Names; Father Jim Profit, ecology project of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice; and Father Jean-Marc LaPorte, provincial of the Jesuits of Upper Canada are Catholic leaders whose names are on the growing list.
Others Canadians who signed the declaration included environmentalist David Suzuki, Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Labor Congress, authors Farley Mowat, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and June Callwood, Nobel Laureate John Polanyi, and musicians Bruce Cockburn, the Tragically Hip and The Barenaked Ladies.
"We have been engaged in over five years of consultations and discussions to develop an action plan on Kyoto," said Sierra Club executive director Elizabeth May, who is also on the list.
"The main reason we have not yet ratified and do not yet have a fully developed implementation plan has been the intransigence and sabotage of the Government of Alberta, which actually co-chaired the national climate change process until last May," May said.
In part the declaration states, "We must prevent the catastrophic impacts of a destabilized global climate. The reality is that meeting Kyoto's targets will improve air quality, ensure the livability of our cities, ensure the livelihood of workers, improve Canada's reputation in the world and begin to place Canada's economic future on a sustainable footing."
The declaration concludes, "We hereby call on Parliament to ratify Kyoto and ensure just transition for our workers. We commend the prime minister for his leadership on this issue and we urge the government to move forward with actions that will help attain the goals of Kyoto."
The list of prominent Canadians also includes leaders of the Anglican, United and Lutheran churches, a leading rabbi and the general secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches.
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