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Climate change activists disrupt Stephen Harper event – Politics – CBC News

Climate change activists disrupt Stephen Harper event – Politics – CBC News.

Activists disrupt Harper event

Activists disrupt Harper event 4:37

Activists disrupt Harper event RAW

Activists disrupt Harper event RAW 0:42

Two climate change activists managed to sneak up behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday just as he was getting ready to start a question and answer session at the Vancouver Board of Trade.

Sean Devlin and Shireen Soofi succeeded in getting past the prime minister’s security detail and onto the stage where Harper was sitting to protest his government’s climate change policies.

Devlin stood behind Harper holding a sign that read “Climate Justice Now.”

Soofi held up a sign saying “The Conservatives Take Climate Change Seriously,” with the sentence crossed out.

She was standing between the prime minister and Iain Black, the president of the board of trade, who was introducing Harper when the activists took the stage.

Both men kept their cool as the pair were escorted off the stage by security.

“I’d like to take a minute and have some folks removed from the stage,” Black said while the prime minister reached for a sip of water.

“It wouldn’t be B.C. without it,” Harper joked.

The crowd of business leaders applauded Harper as security removed the activists from the room.

Former prime minister Kim Campbell was also in attendance, along with Industry Minister James Moore and a handful of Conservative MPs from the region.

Anti-Harper protester behind disruption

The two activists had the help of Brigette DePape, who immediately issued a press release following the security breach bragging about the pair’s exploits.

DePape was fired as a Senate page in 2011 after walking onto the Senate floor carrying a “Stop Harper!” sign during the speech from the throne to protest against Harper’s policies.

“This morning two people directly intervened in a high-security question and answer session with Prime Minister Stephen Harper,” the release said.

“The group managed to make their way past police undetected and into the secured Vancouver Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel.”

Reached by telephone following the disruption, DePape said she was proud of the protest.

DePape told CBC News “it was very empowering” for the activists to get that close to the prime minister.

No comment from PMO

Despite the security breach, the Prime Minister’s Office refused to comment publicly.

Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for the prime minister, told CBC News in an email, “we don’t comment on security-related matters.”​

Following the event, the president of the board of trade Vancouver Board of Trade was asked by reporters how the protesters got on stage.

“I would defer that to the Prime Minister’s Office,” Black said.

The head of the board said that when high-profile guests are invited to speak, security is handled by a number of agencies, from the Vancouver police to the RCMP.

Both protesters were initially detained by Vancouver police, but were later released.​

Vancouver police told CBC News that no charges have been laid against the protesters, but that could change.

“We will be working with the protection detail of the RCMP at the event to determine if charges are going to be laid,” the police said.

The RCMP said it was reviewing the incident and would take “appropriate action,” but referred questions on charges to Vancouver police.

Harper ‘shrugged it off’

Black said he wasn’t shaken by the event and that he took his cue from the prime minister.

“I didn’t really get rattled by it. First of all, it happened very quickly. We all saw how quickly it was handled. I took the lead from the prime minister’s response, to be honest.”

“He didn’t seem rattled. He’s got full confidence in the team around him and that showed. He kind of shrugged it off, and there was no reason for me to do anything else,” Black said.

Richard Zussman, who was at the event reporting for CBC News, said in a post on Twitter that the activists “looked to be dressed as wait staff.”

DePape, in her press release, hinted that other events may be disrupted.

“These actions are taking place as part of a global movement of groups of who are directly confronting the fossil fuel industry, from First Nations legal challenges and blockading projects on their territories, to other forms of non-violent direct action.”

Harper did not take any questions from the media.

Alberta-B.C. pipeline agreement divides key stakeholders – British Columbia – CBC News

Alberta-B.C. pipeline agreement divides key stakeholders – British Columbia – CBC News. (source)

Reaction from stakeholders across Canada has been swift following the joint announcement by Alberta Premier Alison Redford and B.C. Premier Christy Clark that their provinces had reached an agreement on how to move forward with pipeline proposals.

Critics of the move to transport Alberta oil and gas by pipeline to terminals on B.C.’s coast largely panned Tuesday’s agreement, saying Clark has changed her position on pipelines several times.

“We’re hearing that there’s actually a framework that could allow these pipelines to go forward. I think the real flip-flopping is coming from Premier Clark of British Columbia,” said Ben West, environmental activist with Forest Ethics.

“You know the province made some very strongly worded statements during the joint review panel about the safety concerns associated with [Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline proposal].… Now what we’re seeing is quite to the contrary.”

West’s sentiments were echoed by Greenpeace — a vocal opponent of proposed pipeline projects, which staged a daylong protest at Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline terminal in Burnaby, B.C. in October.

“This so-called deal will not break the unbroken and growing wall of opposition to tarsands pipelines and tankers in British Columbia,” said Mike Hudema, a climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada.

“Today’s announcement doesn’t address the concerns of more than 130 First Nations, supported by communities along the route and people across the country, who oppose the movement of tarsands oil through their lands and waters,” said Hudema.

Industry officials, however, were largely positive about today’s developments, saying the deal is a sign of co-operation that might be a preview of things to come.

“We’ve always said that resolving the issues related to energy infrastructure is a collaborative effort that will require a number of different stakeholders and governments to achieve solutions,” said Todd Nogier, an Enbridge spokesman.

Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline has been at the centre of disagreements between the governments of B.C. and Alberta.

When asked about the Alberta-B.C. agreement during a press conference at the Vancouver Board of Trade on Tuesday, Greg Stringham of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers started by simply exclaiming, “Yay.”

Stringham went on to say, “We still know there’s a ton of work left to do to be able to do this. It was very good to see that they can actually come together and say we’re going to work to try to resolve these things.”

The agreement does not ensure any of the currently proposed pipeline projects will be approved, but sets the groundwork for all future negotiations between the provinces.

 

 

 

Poloz says inflation will be focus of central bank policy – Business – CBC News

Poloz says inflation will be focus of central bank policy – Business – CBC News.

 

Construction Jobs Could Be First Victims Of ‘Unbalanced’ Economy

Construction Jobs Could Be First Victims Of ‘Unbalanced’ Economy.

 

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