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Words that made a Republican aide cry - Cathy Orlando

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Jun 27, 2011 - 4:28 PM |

Re: “Local woman to attend international climate change meeting” which appeared June 15 on NorthernLife.ca. This letter was written by Cathy Orlando who attended the event.

Editor’s note: This letter has been edited for length.

First of all, I want to say to everyone, our Carbon Fee and Dividend Act is being received very well by many Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Tea Partiers here on Capital Hill.

I am in Washington, DC at the annual Citizens Climate Lobby Conference. All this week 85 Citizen Climate Lobbyists have been on Capital Hill lobbying the US government to put a “tipping” fee on carbon pollution and give the dividends (money) directly back to the people.

I am representing Canada and the International community. My message is the world is looking to the USA for leadership on the climate crisis and I have it in writing from our Conservative government that Canada will not move on the climate issue until the USA does.

We were in an office of a Republican Congress Person. It came up in the discussions that all Canada wants the USA to do is to buy tar sands oil. I had the same discussion earlier in the day with a Democratic aide.

Both of them heard that I am not happy that my taxpayer dollars were used to lobby the US government to buy tar sands oil and so are many Canadians. I said that the tar sands development will destroy a land mass the size of Greece.

With everything in my heart I said I don’t want the death of the Lubicon and Chippewayan Cree on my hands. Haven’t we killed enough people on this continent already?

There was dead silence in the room. The aide looked at me and tears welled in her eyes. Tears welled in my eyes and for a brief moment we made eye contact; I felt a connection and sadness so deep.

The aide pulled herself together but was not the same afterwards. She was more quiet and really looking at us.
I think I made a difference. No, actually, the whole CCL team (five of us) made that difference. We spoke for millions. It was real.

Cathy Orlando Greater Sudbury


-Posted by Heather Green-Oliver

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