It’s an honor to introduce myself to you as the new executive director of Greenpeace Canada. I’m thrilled to be joining the world’s most important environmental organization, and I look forward to getting to know you all over the next few months.
I’ve long admired Greenpeace’s commitment to solving environmental problems, and speaking truth to power through peaceful direct action. I look forward to extending our solutions work to address not just the environment, but also social inequality. These two issues are deeply intertwined.
I intend to travel across Canada talking to thousands of Canadians to find out how we can inspire and set in motion new ways of thinking and doing. Empowered citizens will change this world. Greenpeace has a critical role to play in promoting that change.
I come into the organization as we deal with two immensely important and urgent issues that address both the environment and inequality. As I write this, 30 colleagues are being detained in a Murmansk, Russia prison for defending the Arctic and standing up to Gazprom’s efforts to pursue reckless drilling in the North. At the same time, closer to home, Greenpeace and two of our campaigners are being sued for $7 million for their work to defend the Boreal Forest and for standing up to Canada’s biggest logging company, Resolute Forest Products.
These two issues threaten our fundamental rights to peacefully protect the environment through peaceful civil disobedience. The fact that more and more activism is becoming criminalized or crushed into silence means in essence, the system is broken. We need to protect our right to speak out.
I truly believe that public dialogue is pivotal to the environmental movement in Canada and worldwide.
Thank you for your continued support,
P.S. If you are in Ottawa next week, please join me to discuss “Tar Sands, Pipelines in Your Backyard and the Clean Energy Revolution” with Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams.