Sault Climate Hub: Open letter to City Council of Sault Ste. Marie regarding Tenaris subsidy


To the City Council of Sault Ste. Marie:

We recognize Sault Ste. Marie’s city council for their service to our community, but when it appears all of council commits an ethical lapse in judgement, or shies away from doing what is necessary, it must be pointed out.

In a 2019 poll by Abacus Data, 82 percent of Canadian respondents identified climate change as a serious problem, and four in 10 identified it as an emergency. Yet on Monday, November 9th, while seemingly unanimous in their endorsement of (or at least complicity with) Tenaris expanding its operations, with a taxpayer contribution to boot, city council failed to bring up climate change in their public deliberations. There was no reported contemplation of how this subsidy might affect the city’s carbon footprint, nor of how the products produced by Tenaris, with taxpayer dollars (intended to facilitate fossil fuel expansion) will work against the absolute necessity of getting to a carbon-free economy, in order to minimize imminent suffering and mass extinction, now underway, due to climate change.

As constituents, as taxpayers, as parents and grandparents, as youth – as people who no longer believe we can go about business as usual, without climate change being a central consideration – we demand better, and we demand answers:

Were concerns about climate change ever raised in deliberations of support? If yes, why were they not voiced publicly, ensuring concerned citizens would know their interests are being represented? If no, with the scientific consensus in, and the implications widely known, why not?

Most importantly, how can development projects be supported, in a current climate emergency, without carbon-neutralizing plans attached, at minimum? Should we not be investing in developments that will make our planet better instead? Ask young people. They’ll give you the straight goods.

It is our hope members of council will address these concerns in a timely manner, by the next council meeting, November 30, 2020.

You have not acknowledged the concerns of, perhaps the majority of your constituents. The manner in which you address this misstep is your opportunity to demonstrate leadership. The community awaits your response.


Sault Climate Hub


  1. This article is full of bias based on very little fact. We should not willfully destroy our planet but until we control the sun we can do little about climate change. That is a fact.

    • Hi Art, The GHG strategy *might* suggest an emissions reduction of 3% over 10 years. Hysterical. This one council decision gave more money to expand fossil fuels than all the city’s efforts to reduce FF to date. This one decision will likely expand attributable local emissions by perhaps a magnitude greater than that above 3%. ANYTHING the community does to reduce our emissions – even significant sacrifices – will be obliterated by this one decision, while hundreds or even thousands of local sustainable jobs and needs go for want because council is misallocating a million dollars to do something terribly destructive. Nice to have a climate strategy, but to what point?

  2. I don’t think it’s fair to give them a 15-day deadline. I agree we need to come together as a society to first learn then understand climate change. Accusing them of something and demanding they listen to you does not help.

  3. Electric cars aren’t fueled by petroleum, guys. Throwing out confusion for the sake of confusion doesn’t mean anything at the end of the day.

    There is a mistake of mixing unrelated issues together. Electric cars have absolutely nothing to do with Tenaris or whatever this plan is. I, for one, am not qualified to make a statement on it as I don’t even know what Tenaris uses.

    What I do know is that I’m an advocate for electrification of vehicles, which will help the northern Ontario economy as it takes cobalt and nickel and other metals to make batteries, which we have. Its a lot safer and cleaner than petrochemicals and those battery metals can be recycled, not burned into the atmosphere.

    Here in Canada, our electric grid is mostly non-fossil fuel. Quebec and Manitoba are near 100% carbon neutral. In Ontario, we rely mostly on nuclear and renewables, and gas is used only during times of high usage. So try not to mix up EV’s with Tenaris. Completely unrelated topics.

    • The heavy and precious medals required for electric cars require plenty of energy to acquire and create. Nothing is carbon neutral, nothing. Please stop using that term it is totally false.

  4. And we desperately need the jobs.. The Soo is dieing a slow and painful death..The plant used to employ 12/13000 people, now it is closer to 2000. St Mary’s paper was a major employer, now doesn’t exist.. Without investment in industry of any kind we are finished…The casino used to employ hundreds, now they run with 1/4 of that , when they are open.. We will need fossil fuels for a long time yet, it’s more a matter of learning how to live without them, or making them more environmentaly friendly.. As one other posted, even electric cars need to be fueled…

    • Jobs are useless on a dead planet, and I honestly doubt people need them. Perhaps an income, or healthy economy. Jobs may be one antiquated way to provide that, but far from the only. We shouldn’t sacrifice the planet for myopic visions of the past.

  5. Seems much better than a Ferro chrome plant. No one in politics wants to address the real polluters China India for example. Canada is a country that gives off a fraction of the carbon these and a few other countries do, USA included. Deter a chrome plant, certainly, expand the steel industry, yes. The city has, and still needs,this great employer

    • Sure it’s better – just destroy the planet instead of our community. That’s not being selfish at all. Just turn off the news and ignore the consequences.

    • Besides, Canada’s emissions are 15X that of China and 39X that of India. The Sault’s emissions are higher than the average Cdns. WE are the real polluters.

  6. The problem is that we still need products from fossil fuels for every day life. These fuels are generally found underground rite! Did you know there is a whole bunch above ground I doubt it. They are trees, biomass fuels anything that rots and can be burned are future fossil fuels.
    The point is leave our green on top utilize our underground fossil fuels responsible and work toward a (sustainable) use of wind, sun and water.
    Remember even electric vehicles and homes use products from fossil fuels. It is a Balancing Act.

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