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Protesters target Lunn's office

B.C.'s minister of sport Gary Lunn is the latest target in a series of protest sit-ins leading up to the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen next week.

Ten people entered Lunn's constituency office in Sidney this morning to protest the federal government's position on greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Activists occupied the offices of Labour Minister Rona Ambrose and Environment Minister Jim Prentice last week.

Yesterday, seven people were arrested for taking over Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's office.

Eric Swanson, who is taking part in the Sidney sit-in, told The Tyee that RCMP officers stopped by but left without making any arrests.

Swanson said they are calling on the government to commit Canada to binding greenhouse gas reduction targets.

"Locally, we've asked Minister Lunn to commit to a public town hall represent his government's position to his constituents," Swanson said.

He added that Lunn called from Ottawa and refused this request.

People involved in the four sit-ins are part of an ad hoc group of citizens across the country "concerned about our government's failure to lead going into Copenhagen," but they are not representing any one organization, Swanson said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has indicated Canada will not agree to legally binding targets in Copenhagen. At a press conference yesterday in Port-au-Spain, where Harper is attending a meeting of Commonwealth leaders, he said the greenhouse gas reduction targets proposed are "idealistic."

"We've been through the exercise in the past decade or so of setting targets that were idealistic or blue-sky and no one went out and actually achieved them, or set targets that look great on paper and didn't actually require any effort," Harper told reporters.

The Conservatives' current climate plan is based on intensity targets, which means industry can continue to emit carbon dioxide as long at those emissions decrease relative to economic growth. Harper has said that Canada will harmonize its reduction goals with that of the United States, which is 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020, with some tweaks, but has not specified what those might be.

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

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