A letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Events in the United States have triggered conversations here in Canada and will require responses on a growing number of fronts. I’m sharing a letter here that addresses two issues raised in the first couple of days after the election of Donald Trump: the possible overturning of President Obama’s refusal to continue with the Keystone pipeline project and the likelihood that Trump, as President of the United States, will reject the Paris Climate agreements.

International Boun

International Boun

I encourage all of my Canadian friends and followers to engage and remain engaged with your own political leaders so that we continue to reject actions and ideals that do not reflect our social democratic values. Copy this letter. Write your own. Stay informed and attentive. Donald Trump’s access to power in the United States cannot bleed into Canada through amendments and reconsidered pledges. We must not sell out to his vision of reality.

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister McKenna, and Minister Freeland,

I write to encourage you and your colleagues as Canada responds to and reframes its relationship with our southern sister, now preparing for the leadership of President-Elect Donald Trump. Be assured that Canada remains committed to the choices that have been made in the past both in relation to the Keystone Pipeline and Canada’s Carbon Tax.
President Obama’s rejection of Keystone was welcomed by many Canadians and many Americans. It demanded new thinking in the corridors of the oil industry. The decision challenged Canadians to look toward new ways of attending to our energy needs and continue to think through the dangerous extraction and transportation of bitumen. Our Indigenous People’s continue to speak directly to the issues related to transporting bitumen through pristine lands. President Obama recognized the diminished returns on this potential blight and ended it.
I ask you to challenge Canadian oil executives to continue their creative thinking. The package President-Elect Trump will accept will not be the financial boon they had hoped for. There are other opportunities, other more economically sound ways to pursue energy sources into the future. Challenge us to find them.
Yesterday I heard Rona Ambrose state that it would be insanity to impose a carbon tax if the United States backs out of its carbon commitments. It would be insanity to change our course and compromise our commitments.
Canadians will make their peace with this tax. We will recognize and understand the need for it. We will be with you as you enter these conversations. Inspire us to be better than whatever lowest common denominator presents itself. Inspire us to be Canadian, to care for our planet, for future generations, and for those in other countries who are far more vulnerable than are we to the vagaries of climate change. Remind us that it is the values of integrity, compassion, and a desire for the well-being of all that lift us up, not an economic privilege that will only compromise and denigrate us.
These are challenging days. We look to you for the creative, reflective, and brave leadership that is needed. And we are confident that your values will continue to hold you to those things that, when history judges us, will find us on the arc that bends toward justice.
All my best,
gretta vosper
Minister, West Hill United Church
Author, With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe
Thank you for doing your part!

One thought on “A letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

  1. Mervyn Dickey

    So well written Gretta and so true to the point. I can understand that we will still need a certain amount of oil for many more years but the demand will continue to slow as renewables come on stream. Also the world is changing with the majority of populations migrating to major centers. This will eventually lead to fewer vehicles, less travel and shrinking demand for oil. Not to mention every town, city, Provence/State and country has been sinking further in debt and at some point this cannot continue. We need some really serious forward thinking, Justin has a lot of political capital and I hope he can make the best of it.

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