Small town editor to cycle from Toronto to Ottawa for global warming petition

The ride will start in Toronto on May 23 and end in Ottawa at Parliament Hill on June 2

“My special interest in climate change began several years ago when the child of a family member cried himself to sleep after watching a television documentary on the subject. Will you sign my petition to help fight climate change in Canada?”

That’s how an online petition starts out that has been posted on Care2 by Keith McNeill, the editor of the award-winning Clearwater-North Thompson Times in Clearwater, British Columbia. The petition calls for a Canada-wide referendum on carbon fee-and-dividend.

This spring McNeill plans to bicycle from Toronto to Ottawa to publicize his petition.

The ride will start in Toronto on May 23 to coincide with Canadian Community Newspaper Association’s annual convention. The Clearwater Times won first place for best editorial page in its circulation class from CCNA this year. Other CCNA awards the Times has won while McNeill has been editor include best all round newspaper in its circulation class in 2014 and 2011. McNeill has also helped the Times win first place in general excellence from BC and Yukon Community Newspaper Association three times.

The ride will end in Ottawa at Parliament Hill on June 2 during a lobbying blitz to be done by Citizens Climate Lobby – Canada to promote carbon fee-and-dividend.

The route will follow the Waterfront Trail along the shore of Lake Ontario as far as Kingston, then head inland and follow part of the Cataraqui Trail towards Ottawa.

Along the way, McNeill hopes to do interviews with as many small town newspapers as possible to promote the benefits of carbon fee-and-dividend.

“Carbon fee-and-dividend is a way to control human-caused global warming that is advocated by James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists,” McNeill explains.

“A fee would be charged on all fossil fuels, in a manner similar to a carbon tax. Unlike a carbon tax, however, the money would not go into general government revenue but would be distributed to every adult as equal and repeating dividends.”

According to McNeill, Canada-wide carbon fee-and-dividend set at the same level as B.C.’s carbon tax (which is what is called for in the petition) would generate about $20 billion per year, enough to give every adult living in Canada close to $1,000 per year in dividends.

This would reduce both the use of fossil fuels plus encourage the development of alternative sources of energy, he says.

It would also address growing economic inequality in this country.

The bottom 10 per cent could expect to receive 150 per cent more in dividends than they would pay out in fossil fuel fees.

Two-thirds of households would break even or receive more in dividends than they would pay in fees.

This isn’t the first long-distance journey the Clearwater Times’ editor has attempted.

In 1987 and in 1989 he walked from Clearwater to Toronto, a distance of about 4,000 km.

Purpose of that journey was to have been a pilgrimage to India and back to honor Mahatma Gandhi. Unfortunately, a minor but persistent foot injury (plantar fasciitis) forced him to return home.

Last fall, when he was in Toronto on a different matter, McNeill extended his earlier walk by another eight km and finished off at the Rouge Hill GO Station northeast of Toronto.

“This spring’s bike ride will begin from where I left off last fall – the Rouge Hill GO station – and will continue to Parliament Hill in Ottawa,” the small town editor says.

There are some interesting sidebars to this story that will be announced later.

McNeill’s petition is at:


The North Thompson Star/Journal is a Black Press sister newspaper to the Clearwater Times. The Star/Journal shares its production department with the Clearwater Times.


Just Posted

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Four Paws Food Bank-Barriere helps area pet owners

Leia Kett (as in Star War’s Princess Leia) has been a Barriere… Continue reading

Barriere resident Donna Genier was happy to be able to gather with a small group of family and close friends to play a game of scrub last Sunday at the Barriere ball fields in memory of her youngest son Kurt Genier. Kurt passed unexpectedly in 2014 Since then, starting in 2015 an annual Memorial Slow Pitch Baseball Tournament has been held in Barriere to remember the young man who loved to play baseball. Unfortunately, the tourney had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. (Elli Kohnert photo)
Kurt Genier remembered with ball game in Barriere

The annual Kurt Genier Memorial Slow Pitch Ball Tournament was not able… Continue reading

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

Six years after an earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal faces another catastrophy

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read