New Year, New Beginnings - Launch of "ITS" Campaign

February 6, 2013

New Year, New Beginnings

It is with great pleasure that we announce the launching of the new Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign (ITSC). Since its inception, the ITSC has been a project of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) based in the United States, and we have enjoyed working with IEN while the program has grown and developed. However, given the realities of organizing in Canada we have decided that this campaign needs to be based in Canada with a Canadian fiscal sponsor to help administer the program and help ensure its financial viability and management needs.

NEW REPORT: Big Oil’s Oily Grasp

New report shows oil industry had 2,733 meetings with the federal public office holders since 2008, 463% more than environmental groups

Stand With ACFN to Challenge Shell's Jackpine Expansion!

The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation are bringing forward a question of constitutional law before the Joint Review panel challenging the application of Shell Oil's Jackpine Mine Expansion on October 23rd in Fort McMurray, AB. They are asking the public to join them and stand in solidarity as they present their evidence against Shell's proposed tar sands expansion project.

For more information about Shell's proposals and ACFN's Challenge please visit

ACTION: End Big Polluter Handouts - Arrêtons les subventions aux pollueurs!

(Le français suit)

Dear Friends,

Every year, Canada hands out $1.4 billion dollars to big fossil fuel companies, a gross mismanagement of our public funds. In 2009, Prime Minister Harper promised to put a stop to the waste. Yet, instead of cutting the subsidies as promised, the government is now slashing the services Canadians depend on.

Right now we have a unique opportunity. A motion drafted by youth-led climate justice movement PowerShift
is about to be brought before Parliament that could end these handouts for good, but only if enough of us pressure our MPs to vote for it.

Final declaration of the People's Summit

Below is a link the full final declaration of the "Cupula dos povos", or People's summit, held in June in Rio de Janeiro during the 2012 UN Earth Summit (rio+20).

Final declaration

Here are the first few paragraphs:

People’s Summit “at Rio+20” for Social and Environmental Justice in defence of the commons, against the commodification of life

People's Summit Blue Pavilion Declaration

Two weeks ago in Rio, The Polaris Institute participated in a gathering of the global water justice movement inside the 'Blue Pavilion' at the Cupula dos Povos. The Blue Pavilion was organized in order to highlight water as a cross cutting issue in most global environmental and human rights campaigns. Polaris staff organized a session linking the issue of water to energy and extractive industries. The following is the final declaration from the Blue Pavilion.

Canadian Groups Respond to Canada’s Bad Faith and Blocking Role at Rio+20

(Le français suit)

For Immediate Release

Rio de Janeiro/Ottawa - Following his statement to Canadian and international media and his address to the Rio+20 plenary, Canadians in Rio and back home issued the following statements.

Global Campaign to Challenge the Power of Corporations Launched in Rio

For Immediate Release

June 19, 2012, Rio de Janeiro - Dozens of civil society organizations from around the world have gathered today at the Peoples’ Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to launch a global campaign to confront the power of corporations and their crimes against humanity. In the face of the failed official Rio + 20 process, which has been systematically co-opted and corrupted by transnational corporations, this campaign strives to unite hundreds of struggles, campaigns, networks, movements and organizations that are fighting the different ways transnational corporations are negatively impacting human rights and the rights of nature in every corner of the planet. The campaign denounces the corporate agenda of Rio + 20 to commodify nature. To put this campaign into action, there will be a rally at 6:00 PM, June 19th, from the Peoples’ Summit toward Largo de Carioca to confront the abuses of Brazilian energy and mining giant Vale.

Rio 20 years later - Earth summit & Green Economy

This week, Tony and Richard from Polaris will be going to Rio de Janeiro to participate in the People's Summit (June 15-23) opposite the official Earth Summit (June 20-22).

Tony and Richard will both be actively participating in the water, extractive industry and energy portions of the People's Summit. More to come during and after the summit!

Below you will find an video analysis of what is at stake in Rio 20 years later, including discussions around the UN's proposal for a "green economy", including an interview with Polaris director, Tony Clarke.