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Students bare their dismay at death of climate bill in Senate

University of Guelph students protest against the defeat of a House-approved climate bill in the Senate.

Hayley Mullen

So you think ordinary Canadians - especially the young ones - don't pay much attention to what happens in the Senate?

It seems students at the University of Guelph, west of Toronto, have been watching the Red Chamber - and they have not been particularly pleased with what they have seen.

So they decided to shed a little of their own dignity to demonstrate their dismay at what they perceive as an unfortunate blow to the dignity of Parliament. As music blared, they stood on tables in a university cafeteria and shed their clothes.

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The target of their anger was the decision last week by Conservative senators to kill Bill C-311, the NDP-sponsored private member's bill that would require Ottawa to set targets to bring greenhouse gas emissions to 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050. The bill won House approval but was not even debated in the Senate before it was snuffed out.

The video of the student "strip mob" was posted on YouTube.

"The killing of Bill C-311 undermines Canadian democracy," said Gracen Johnson, one of the event organizers. "Canada has embarrassingly weak carbon reduction targets without even a plan to meet them."

Sure, it can get a little nippy stripping down to your skivvies in the middle of a Canadian winter. But with global warming, Ms. Johnson said, "it's getting hot in here."

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Gloria Galloway has been a journalist for almost 30 years. She worked at the Windsor Star, the Hamilton Spectator, the National Post, the Canadian Press and a number of small newspapers before being hired by The Globe and Mail as deputy national editor in 2001. Gloria returned to reporting two years later and joined the Ottawa bureau in 2004. More

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