Will our children inherit a Canada where polar bears can only be found on Toonies?

polar bear on toonie image photo illustration by franke james

TORONTO, September 30 — Concerned that one day polar bears may only be found on Toonies, and that Canadian voters are wrongly being asked to choose between the economy and the environment on October 14th, Canadian artist Franke James has created a visual letter to Stephen Harper.
Dear Prime Minister
“Dear Prime Minister, You say a pollution tax would wreak havoc on our economy”
See the visual letter.

Weaving together expressive drawings with photos and hand drawn text, James asks the Prime Minister simple and thought-provoking questions including this pivotal one, “why are you making us choose between the economy and the environment

James challenges Harper’s assertion that the other parties are “dangerous because they will tax polluters.” She asks, “But if we don’t tax polluters, who will pay to clean up the mess? Will my children — and yours — be paying?” She backs up her statements on the Alberta oil sands and China, with facts from the Pembina Institute, Sierra Club Canada, The Telegraph UK and other sources.

The “Dear Prime Minister” letter urges all Canadians to vote for the environment and the economy on October 14th. James says, “Canada has one of the worst records for emissions of any G8 nation. Pollution is a bullet we can’t dodge. If we don’t act now we are only fooling ourselves. Our children will pay the price in a damaged environment. The upcoming federal election is an opportunity for us to send a strong message that we must tax pollution now, rather than pass the mess (and expense) onto our children!” She asks, “Will our children inherit a Canada where polar bears can only be found on Toonies?”

What People Are Saying:

“With wit and flair, Franke shows the Harper government’s environmental policies are nonsense — and severely jeopardizing our children’s future.”
Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization

“Wowzers! This is FANTASTIC. Thanks so much for sharing it. Your visual essay clearly articulates the risks of NOT acting. Policy analysts struggle to convey what you have so clearly expressed.” Eli van der Giessen, David Suzuki Foundation

About the Artist:

Franke James is a Canadian artist and writer who blogs at MyGreenConscience.com (www.frankejames.com). She is also an entertaining and persuasive advocate for the environment. In 2007 James battled Toronto City Hall for the right to build a “green driveway” and won. She has a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from University of Victoria, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mount Allison University. James’ environmental essays have been featured in newspapers, TV, radio, books and online.

Web links:

Dear Prime Minister visual letter
Franke James’ bio

Contact information:

Franke James, MFA
Email: franke@frankejames.com
Website: MyGreenConscience.com
(resolves to: https://www.frankejames.com)
Tel: (416) 256-9166

James Gang launches Whack the PM 2008

whack the pm screen

Canada’s election is heating up. (And so is our planet.) Who will get us out of this hot water?

TORONTO, September 13, 2008 — As the October 14th Federal Election Day draws near, Canadians are in hot water trying to decide which leader to trust.

Whack the PM, an online polling game and strategic voting tool at www.whackthepm.ca, is helping Canadians address the election issues and decide who they should vote against.

Whack the PM puts the leaders of the five top parties in a simmering hot tub with tough questions about global warming, the economy, leadership, food safety, Afghanistan, minority governments and the kicker — “All politicians are liars. Why should I trust you?”

With each question, voters respond by whacking the candidate who has the most irritating answer on the head. Using this visceral and interactive process, voters determine which leader is most deserving of their distrust.

“We don’t play favorites. We make fun of all the candidates,” says Franke James, the site co-creator and co-founder of The James Gang, a social media and creative content company. “The Canadian electorate is facing some big decisions. Will the economy trump the environment? Is a carbon tax necessary to punish polluters? If Stephen Harper wins a majority how will that change the face of Canada? Which leader can we trust? With Whack the PM we’re allowing average Canadians to vent, and helping them decide who they should vote against.”

At the time of this release, Stephen Harper is being whacked most often, and leads the straw poll as Canada’s most detested politician. See the current stats at: www.whackthepm.ca/stats_show.php.

Whack the PM offers strategic voting advice on a riding-by-riding basis. It has been designed to select the candidate who has the best chance of defeating your detested leader in your riding. For example, if you want to defeat the Liberals, you may be advised to vote for the NDP, the Tories, or whichever candidate has the best chance to defeat them. It helps voters make the most effective and strategic use of their votes.

About The James Gang

The James Gang creates entertaining and educational content for both traditional and new media. Entertainment projects include My Green Conscience, Verbotomy: the create-a-word game, and Office-Politics. The James Gang is a privately held company based in Toronto. For more information visit: www.jamesgang.com.

– 30 –

For Information:
Franke James, The James Gang
Tel: 416·256·9166
Email: franke@jamesgang.com