Yes to EU FQD, no to tar sands: Countering Canadian lobbying against European climate policy

The Council of Canadians
Date de la référence: 
12 March, 2012

The Harper government’s foreign policy is increasingly about protecting corporate interests in the Canadian tar sands, including challenging policy that will help address climate change.

The EU Fuel Quality Directive will help reduce emissions from transport fuels. The draft policy proposes a value for tar sands, or bitumen, that recognizes that it is a high carbon fuel and discourages its use. The Canadian and Albertan governments have been lobbying fiercely against this.

The Council of Canadians is committed to countering lobbying against the EU FQD and demonstrating to Europeans that Canadians support climate action. To protect the EU FQD from future trade challenges, the Council is encouraging Europeans to reject investor-state mechanisms in CETA (Canada and European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement).


* Canadians to Europeans: Our government doesn’t speak for us on the tar sands. Send a photo message – I’m Canadian and I support the EU FQD. The Council of Canadians will creatively deliver these pictures and share your messages.

EU Tar Sands Lobby-Busting Tour: Countering Canada’s Confuse and Bully Campaign

The Canadian Government, along with industry allies and the Alberta Government, have launched a coordinated lobby attack on the European Union Fuel Quality Directive. This attack, run as part of a tar sands advocacy strategy, led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, is dangerous and irresponsible in the face of global climate change. To counteract these lobbying efforts, the Council of Canadians, Climate Action Network Canada and the Indigenous Environmental Network recently held a series of successful meetings with Ottawa-based European Union Embassies.

In the lead up to a June vote on the Directive, the lobby-busting tour is heading to the European Union! A delegation from the three organizations will be travelling to France, the Netherlands, UK and Germany to share a different Canadian perspective in meetings with elected officials, political staff, media and at public events. In addition to their discussions, the delegation will present a kit of information that includes an open letter endorsed by Canadian civil society organizations representing over a million Canadians, information responding to Canadian lobbying myths and about Canada’s lobbying efforts, the tar sands, Indigenous rights and the proposed Canada-European trade agreement (CETA). All four countries abstained from a recent vote on the EU FQD and are considered critical for the progress of this policy, despite Canada’s tarred lobbying efforts.

2012 EU Tar Sands Lobby-Busting tour Schedule:

* March 19: Meetings in Paris, France.
* March 20: Meetings in The Hague Netherlands.
* March 21: Meetings in The Hague, Netherlands.
* March 22: Meetings in London, UK.
* March 23: Meetings in Berlin, Germany.
* March 26: Meetings in Berlin, Germany.

EU Lobby-Busting tour Delegation:


Stuart Trew has been with the Council of Canadians for six years as a researcher, organizer and now trade campaigner. He has a background in journalism and political economy from Carleton University (Ottawa) and worked for four years as an editor for a weekly news and cultural magazine in Ottawa. He is a regular commentator in the news on the Canada-European Union free trade negotiations with a particular focus on the impact of trade and investment liberalization on environmental, public health and other social policies.

Hannah joined Climate Action Network Canada in August of 2009, following 3 years of climate change adaptation work in El Salvador. Hannah has a M.Sc. in Science and Society from the London School of Economics, a B.Sc. Hon. in Biochemistry from Mount Allison University and a degree from Lester B. Pearson United World College. She has been engaged in climate change activism for over 8 years in Canada, the UK and Latin America.

Bill Erasmus is the National Dene Chief and the Assembly of First Nations Regional Vice Chief of the Northwest Territories. He is from the Dene Nation. Regional Chief Erasmus has been elected as a member of the AFN Executive Committee since 1987. Born in Yellowknife, in 1954, he received his post-secondary education at University of Alberta. Bill has continued to be involved with the University of Alberta and currently sits as a member of the senate. Bill represented the Dene Nation as the Dene National Chief from 1987 to 2003. In 1993, he was appointed Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) where he remains. Mr. Erasmus is a board member of various committees for the AFN, as well as, other similar organizations. Throughout his career he has strongly promoted the implementation of Treaty, Aboriginal Rights, and Self–Governance. In 1993, Mr. Erasmus received a commemorative medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada from the Governor General, in recognition of his significant contributions to compatriots, communities and to Canada. In May of 2003, Bill received the Queens Jubilee Award.

More information coming soon.