Meet Canada's Fossil Fools …

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(from It’s Getting Hot in Here)

People for Climate Justice, a national coalition of concerned residents in Canada wish to announce the Fossil Fools of the Year, but who is it going to be? Vote for your choice.

People for CJ have nominated several tar sands supporters, all worthy of the dubious prize. It will be a tough choice. Who really and truly is the most foolish to be tangled up in the dirty fossil fuel industry? To make this easier for you, we have nomination videos and a little information about all of our nominees.

Stephen Harper

“Honourable” Stephen Harper is being nominated for his first domestic Fossil Fool award! With a long-standing history of avoiding climate action, the Canadian Prime Minister has some serious tricks up his sleeve. During the UN climate negotiations in Bali, leaders from 77 developing nations left the table when the Harper government blatantly refused to take any responsibility for their share of climate change pollution. Other noteworthy pranks pulled by the Harper government includes refusing to negotiate during Climate Change NEGOTIATIONS in Copenhagen, and continuing to provide outrageous subsidies for the industries fuelling the climate crisis. In the spirit of April Fools day, the Conservative government’s emission reduction plan is also quite a gag: 3% below 1990 levels with no substantial framework or plan to see this through. Today let’s congratulate the Prime Minister for being the Fossil Fool of the year, an award which should hang nicely beside the international “Colossal Fossil” award he received in Copenhagen last December.

Ed ‘Can’t Touch the Brakes’ Stelmach

After receiving a Fossil Fool award in 2009, Ed Stelmach is going for the Fossil again. As the only provincial premier nominee of the year, being so silly as to file an emissions reduction plan that will actually see emissions rise. In addition to that, he is one of the tar sands biggest cheerleaders ruling with a ’see no evil, hear no evil’ approach to governing the province. While he wears an eye mask and puts in his ear plugs, Ed Stelmach’s government has a 100% approval rating when it comes to tar sands projects, as they look at every proposal with googly-eyes and their green lights. Alberta’s little neighbourhood menace slashed the provincial environmental budget while increasing the public relations budget—which will surely accomplish more than actually acting responsibly. And of course the menace avoids any rules. But don’t worry! The tar sands mega corporations will police and enforce themselves. As the tar sands horror story grows so does Stelmach’s Fossil Fool repertoire. Will he add to his collection?

Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment

Honourable Minister Prentice has earned himself a place amongst these nominees. As Minister of the Environment, he has shown his deep concern for the economy…ahem, the environment. Moving on, Prentice is paying close attention to Canada’s environment. With the tar sands covering an area of 140,000km2, an area larger than Nova Scotia and New Brunswick combined, Prentice has shown the size of his commitment to covering up the tar sands and pretending they don’t exist. While Prentice admits that the “general perception of the oil sands is profoundly negative,” he chooses to stay positive. This trickster has used his title of Minster of the Environment to convince the Canadian public that he cares about people and the planet too. He wants you to know that he shares your values. Having you thinking that is his way of contributing to the bright future you promised your children.

Shell Canada

Shell has used the art of disguise as its preferred form of tom foolery, earning it this most distinguished honour. Not only is Shell known at the international level as shameful exploiters of human rights to extract oil, but also claims over half the stakes in the Albian Sands Energy Project with their strip-mining and upgrading operations. Even Shell’s shareholders think they have been playing this foolish game too long. In January, a committee of shareholders began pressuring the company to actually audit the impacts of this “risky” business. And if this was not enough to convince us that Shell deserves this award, consider the prank they played on Canadians by launching a 6 week ad campaign disguising their paid propaganda advertisement as editorials on climate change, brought to us straight from the dirty oil sands. To boot, Shell sold off their solar division to invest more in dirty oil. Silly oil company, tricks are for kids! And thanks for their tricks, Shell is set to become the most carbon intensive company on the planet.

Gordon Nixon

CEO Gordon Nixon is nominated to accept this award on behalf of his beloved Royal Bank of Canada, a former recipient of the Fossil Fool award. RBC remains the largest financer of the Tar Sands, recognized internationally as one of the most environmentally destructive projects on the planet and Canada’s largest gag. But Gord is trying to come clean as he green washes his bank’s practices with his “Blue Water Project.” He has chosen to smile about the money RBC is putting into clean water, and how he is making clean water even more valuable by destroying it as well. It is supply and demand. You need to be a smart dude to run Canada’s largest bank. He has also proven his intelligence by informing the public that RBC is “not an oil company.” It is just the institution bankrolling projects that are violating aboriginal and treaty rights.

Michael Ignatieff

The leader of the Liberal Party of Canada is a well-known joker. Take for example his hilarious climate action plan released just weeks before leaders from around the world met in Copenhagen to discuss binding emissions reduction targets. This plan sought to keep the climate “in check” with no targets to be mentioned. You trickster, where are you hiding those targets? Ignatieff pulled a grand prank on Canada when, after having voted three times for Bill C-313, blocked the bill which was Canada’s last hope for legally binding climate action before heading to UN talks in Copenhagen. Ignatieff loves to fool around when it comes to dirty oil. As a strong supporter of the expansion of tar sands projects, he has consistently ignored the huge role the Canadian oil Industry plays in climate destruction. As Canadians await Iggy to jump out from behind his mask and yell: “April Fools, I’m really a conservative,” he continues to have his sticky feet in the tar sands where he fails to play the role of opposition.


There you have it folks! Those are your nominees. So don’t forget to VOTE! We are living in a democracy, so we must exercise our right to vote.

More information about what you can do and what other communities in Canada are doing for Fossil Fools Day to pay homage to our nominees will be posted later today, or you can check out more information on the Canada Climate Justice website. Make a phone call, send an email, or play a little prank for this year’s Fossil Fools Day. We have the resources for you!

In the months leading up to the G8 and G20 meetings happening in Canada, climate and environmental justice activists are raising the profile of Canada’s dirty fossil fuel industry, and Fossil Fools Day is just one opportunity to do so. Community members supported by the Toronto Community Mobilization Network will be taking part in a week of action prior to the G20 taking place June 25-27, with June 23rd is the day for climate and environmental justice.

All eyes are on Canada this June … but for now, all eyes are on our nominees.

1 Comment

  • I’m disappointed that Michael Ignatieff is getting a free pass in this poll. It gives the impression he’s a lesser evil alternative to Stephen Harper, when in fact he is nothing of the sort.