CUPE encourages all National Convention participants to use the greenest modes of transportation available to Montréal.
Ask your travel agent for the greenest choice to Montreal. CUPE National will also be gauging how delegates travel to find ways to make environmental improvements for all CUPE events.
What is the greenest way to convention?
All transportation - unless you walk - has some negative environmental impact. All major forms of transportation emit greenhouse gases and therefore damage the climate.
Passenger road transportation is responsible for half of Canadian’s personal greenhouse gas emissions. Seventy per cent of the energy used for transport in Canada is used to move people.
And remember, when you’re in Montreal, you should also consider the greenest ways to get around town.
Travelling by train to Montreal is the greenest option, especially over shorter distances (e.g., from Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Hamilton, Kingston, and other nearby centres).
The environmental benefits of train travel include:
- Trains use one third of the energy requirements of air travel over distances between 500 and 1000 kilometres.
- Trains emit less carbon than airplanes, in the range of 70% less per passenger-kilometre, depending on how trains are powered.
- Trains emit approximately 80% less nitrogen oxide (a greenhouse gas and serious air contaminant) compared to air travel on a 500 kilometre trip.
Train schedules to Montreal
Toronto - Montreal
(includes Oshawa, Port Hope, Cobourg, Trenton, Belleville, Napanee, Kingston, Gananoque, Brockville and Cornwall, all in Ontario; and Coteau, QC).
Ottawa - Montreal
(includes Casselman and Alexandria, Ontario and Coteau, QC).
Quebec City - Montreal
(includes Sainte-Foy, Charny, Drummondville, and Saint-Hyacinthe).
Halifax - Montreal
(includes Truro, Sackville, Moncton, Miramichi, Bathurst, and Campbellton, NB; as well as some in Quebec).
Gaspé - Montreal
(includes Amqui, Mont-Joli, Rimouski, Rivière-du-Loup and Montmagny)
There are also many centres in southern and northern Ontario that connect to a Montreal-bound train in Toronto, such as: Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Aldershot (Hamilton), Oakville, London, Stratford, Kitchener, Guelph, Brampton, Windsor, Chatham, Woodstock, Brantford, Sudbury and Parry Sound.
Train travel is also greener because the train station is close to the Montreal Convention Centre. In fact, it’s only a nine-minute walk.
Bus travel to Montreal is almost as green a choice as train travel. See schedules and fares to Montreal.
You can take the bus to Montreal from just about anywhere in Quebec, Atlantic Canada and Ontario, as well as points further west. The Montreal bus station is located at 505 Boulevard De Maisonneuve East. Greyhound Bus Lines provide most of the service to Montreal, either directly, or through major centres such as Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City.
The central bus station is a 20 minute walk to the Convention Centre.
Driving to Montreal and back is not the greenest choice. Automobiles are key contributors to both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and have a negative impact on human health.
But if driving is your only option, it can be greener if you carpool. Loading up a small car, for example, can be as green as taking the train.
Using the Internet makes carpooling easier. There are numerous websites for carpooling and ride-sharing, such as:
You can also organize carpooling through your local either your local’s delegates or with other nearby locals or locals along the way.
Air travel is the most environmentally harmful way to travel, particularly for flights less than 1000 kilometres.
But some will have little choice but to fly to Montreal. You can make your greener by purchasing carbon offsets.
When you buy a carbon offset, you pay someone else to reduce greenhouse gas somewhere else on your behalf, say by investing in renewable energy.
But carbon offsets are not foolproof. Here are some points to remember:
- reduce your own carbon footprint as much as possible. This will add credibility to your offset purchase.
- The offset must invest in projects that truly help to protect the climate.
- Make offsets from renewable energy and energy efficiency projects a priority.
The study rated Zerofootprint, the offsetting outlet used by Air Canada poorly. If you are purchasing offsets for an Air Canada flight, buy them independently.
CUPE National Convention 2009 is going green, so let’s go green getting to and returning from Montreal.