“We can’t walk away from the reality of climate change and we won’t walk away from a global plan that has a realistic chance of fighting it.” – Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, June 5th, 2017
By Doug Draper
Posted June 6th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
The old line; ‘like father, like son’ has been used before on Pierre and Justin Trudeau for the obvious reason that both father and son ascended the ladder of Canadian politics to become prime minster.
The line came back to this reporter’s mind this past Monday, June 5th, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeted people gathered in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario’s Queen’s Royal Park after paddling ashore in a canoe – just as his father, an avid canoeist, might have in years gone by.
Then like his father, who pushed the U.S. administration of Ronald Reagan when he was prime minister for the second time around in the early 1980s, to negotiate an agreement to cut the flow of toxic chemicals reaching the Niagara River from U.S. industries and dumpsites, Justin Trudeau stepped up to a podium in the Niagara-on-the-Lake park to make it clear that Canada would remain committed to an international agreement he signed on behalf of the country in Paris a year and a half ago, despite Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he will withdraw the U.S. from it.
With Old Fort Niagara – a relic of the War of 1812 between Canada and the United States – visible across the mouth of the Niagara River in Youngstown New York, Trudeau declared that “Canada will not back down from our commitment to fight climate change and we are not alone.”
“Countries around the world are on our side, business is on our side and science is on our side,” stressed .Trudeau, adding to a round of applause from people, including a number of American visitors, who gathered in the park, that “for those of you who feeling worried” about the announcement Trump made at the White House earlier this June. “I want you to know that we hear you. Canada hears you (and) we know that inaction is not an option.”
“We can’t walk away from the reality of climate change and we won’t walk away from a global plan that has a realistic chance of fighting it …. We have a responsibility to future generations and we will uphold it.”
Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment who accompanied Trudeau to Niagara-on-the-Lake, said Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement is only strengthening the resolve of Canada and other countries around the world to do more.
Even a large number of American people, including American companies and states like New York and California, some of whose governor’s she has talked to in recent days, are determined to carry on with initiates to fight climate change and shift to more renewable, greener sources of energy, in spite of what Trump does or doesn’t do on the climate file.
“I look at these kids here,” said McKenna of a group of elementary school students in the crowd, “and I have three children of my own,” adding that the climate fight has a good deal to do about what kind of future they will have.
Also joining Trudeau in the park was Erik Solheim of Norway, who is executive director of the United Nations’ Environment Program and who chose to be with Trudeau in Canada for what was also World Environment Day this June 5th and because he said he sees Canada as a strong supporter of the Paris accord.
“There is no reason to panic,” said Solheim of Trump’s move. There are many other countries, supported by their populations and by major businesses, including businesses in the U.S., determined to continue on.
Niagara At Large will have more on the climate change battle and Trump’s dangerous efforts to turn the calendar back to past centuries driven by oil and dirty coal in the days ahead.
For a related piece, posted in Niagara At Large this June 5th, featuring a statement by Canada’s Prime Minister on World Environment Day and his government’s call for “connecting people with nature,” click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2017/06/05/canada-committed-to-working-with-other-world-nations-on-environmental-issues-trudeau/ .
For a recent news commentary by Niagara At Large publisher and environment writer Doug Draper on Trump’s outrageous decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2017/06/02/trumps-america-flips-the-bird-at-the-planet/ .
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