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article imageSome Bill C-311 demonstrators said to be professional activists

By Stephanie Dearing     Oct 27, 2009 in Politics
Ottawa, Ontario - Allegations are being levelled against the protesters who disrupted the House of Commons Question Period on Monday, urging support for Bill C-311. At least one protester is affiliated with the NDP.
Anywhere from over 100 to 200 protesters disrupted Question Period on Monday afternoon. The noisy group was urging parliament to pass Bill C-311. The Bill was proposed by the New Democratic Party in 2008 and if adopted would see Canada adhering to strict limits to greenhouse gas emissions. Now it is alleged that Jack Layton said he met with the protesters, but had nothing to do with organizing them. One protester, Joe Cressy, has been fingered as the leader of the flash mob as well as belonging to the NDP. While Cressy denied that allegation, the NDP confirmed he is a member. The NDP provided a statement to a reporter that reads: "The protest was not organized or endorsed by the NDP.
Joe Cressy is an environment activist, and as many environment activists, he joined the NDP because it is the best political vehicle to make progress on environmental issues.
This does not preclude the fact that, as environmental activists, they do their own thing with other groups that are not affiliated [by] the NDP."
The NDP has said that it will use it's time in legislature Wednesday to push the government again to adopt Bill C-311. The Bill has been opposed by the Liberal and Conservative parties, but has been supported by the Bloc.
Bill C-311 had almost been adopted in 2008, having had three readings, but Primer Minister Stephen Harper called an election. The bill was re-introduced to parliament in February 2009 and has had two readings.
Joe Cressy is alleged to be affiliated with both Sierra Club and the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition (CYCC). The CYCC put out a statement Tuesday distancing itself from the protest in the House of Commons. CYCC said youth who were in Ottawa attending a conference on climate change called Power Shift had gone to the visitor's gallery in the House of Commons for Question Period Monday.
Joe Cressy has been involved with the group Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP). Cressy is affiliated with the Polaris Institute.
Six of the protesters were banned from Parliament for one year. Two officers and at two protesters incurred minor injuries in Monday's protest. The police removed protesters to a hallway and refused to allow the press entry to that area.
More about Climate change, Greenhouse gas emissions, House commons protest, Bill c-311, Ndp
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