Posted on January 18, 2010 (updated: January 18, 2010)

Prominent Canadian Artists, Athletes, Activists and Community Leaders to Obama: Green jobs, yes we can. Tar sands, no we can’t

On the eve of President Obama’s first foreign visit to Canada, a group of over 50 prominent Canadians have signed an open letter telling Obama that the tar sands don’t fit in the new energy economy.

“In your discussions with the Canadian government, we encourage you to raise concerns over the environmental and social problems associated with tar sands production and make no exemption for the tar sands in any binational agreement addressing climate change” says the open letter.

Actress Neve Campbell, authors Ann-Marie MacDonald and Farley Mowat, musicians Anton Kuerti and Jim Creeggan of the Barenaked Ladies, athletes Adam Kreek (Olympic Gold Medalist) and Andrew Ference (Boston Bruins defenceman), and political leaders Jack Layton of the NDP and Elizabeth May of the Green Party, are just a few of the many prominent Canadians to sign the letter.

“The tar sands are one of the most destructive projects on Earth and this letter illustrates the diversity of Canadian opposition to the dirty oil and support for a new energy economy,” says Tony Clarke, Executive Director of the Polaris Institute and author of Tar Sands Showdown.

“We must look at the bigger picture and see the consequences of relying on the tar sands as an economic driver” says Maude Barlow, Chairperson for the Council of Canadians and Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the UN General Assembly. “There is an opportunity presented by the current pause in expansions to reassess, address, and develop a strategy to meet Canadians’ energy security needs that transitions to sustainable energy production.”

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