Sir Richard Branson & Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten Headline Coalition to Fight Global Warming

(L to R) Michael Budman, Roots; Devon Sollendieck, MuchMusic; Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group of Companies; Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten; David Kines, CHUM Television; Matte Babel, MuchMusic; and Dr. Rick Smith, Environmental Defense appeared in Toronto this morning to announce the launch of FLICK OFF – a cross-country initiative designed to educate Canadians about the devastating effects of global warming and motivate people to do something about it. For additional information Canadians can visit www.flickoff.org. (CNW Group/Virgin Mobile Canada)

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group of Companies, appeared in Toronto this morning to announce the launch of FLICK OFF – a cross-country initiative designed to educate Canadians about the devastating effects of global warming and motivate people to do something about it. For additional information Canadians can visit www.flickoff.org. (CNW Group/Virgin Mobile Canada)

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group of Companies and Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten, appeared in Toronto this morning to announce the launch of FLICK OFF – a cross-country initiative designed to educate Canadians about the devastating effects of global warming and motivate people to do something about it. For additional information Canadians can visit www.flickoff.org. (CNW Group/Virgin Mobile Canada)


    Virgin Mobile, MuchMusic, Roots Canada, The Province of Ontario and
    Environmental Defence Tell Canadians to... FLICK OFF!

    TORONTO, April 25 /CNW/ - Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin
Group of Companies, and Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten, appeared
in Toronto this morning to announce the launch of FLICK OFF - a cross-country
initiative designed to educate Canadians about the devastating effects of
global warming and motivate people to do something about it.
    Virgin Mobile, MuchMusic, Roots, Environmental Defence and the Province
of Ontario have joined forces to create a dynamic coalition to communicate a
simple message: it's no longer enough to worry about global warming, it's time
to take action and encourage everyone to join in.
    Canadians are encouraged to participate in FLICK OFF by logging on to
www.FLICKOFF.org where they'll find everything they need to know about the
climate crisis and easy-to-implement solutions. Canadians can get informed,
calculate their CO2 emissions, make a pledge to cut their energy consumption
and order a guerrilla-style action kit.
    On his way to Iqaluit, Nunavut to witness first-hand the dramatic impact
of global warming on Northern Canada, Sir Richard Branson stopped in to help
launch FLICK OFF and let Canadians know that "a huge percentage of the
population isn't aware of how big and positive an impact they can have on the
environment by doing simple things. Our goal as a partner in FLICK OFF is to
inform, challenge and inspire people to be concerned and to give them a tool
to take action. We're encouraging Canadians to challenge their friends, family
and neighbours to get involved and be excited about the difference they can
make in the world around them."
    "Climate change is the defining issue of our generation and a challenge
no government can take on alone," Environment Minister Laurel Broten said.
"The McGuinty government is proud to be part of this coalition that empowers
Ontarians to take action. I challenge my provincial counterparts across Canada
to join us. The planet cannot wait."The FLICK OFF Web site provides a range of information and activities for
Canadians including:

    -   Global warming 101: FLICKOFF.org is a clear, easy-to-read website
        about climate change. It describes the causes, effects and solutions
        to global warming in a conversational, tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek
        style. It also features visually resplendent photos by Canadian
        photographers Jesse Boles and Mark Coatsworth.

    -   Steps to reduce emissions: The site is replete with tips on how
        people can immediately reduce their impact on the environment.

    -   Manage your damage: When we burn fossil fuels to create energy, we
        produce CO2. CO2 is the main cause of global warming.
        www.FLICKOFF.org includes a carbon calculator that enables people to
        measure their individual CO2 emissions, and learn how much they
        will save by making simple, specific changes to their daily routine
        and purchasing habits.Canada's first ever FLICK-FEST. In the coming weeks, FLICK OFF will also
announce a nationwide challenge to see which community or city in Canada can
cut their emissions the most per capita over the course of the summer. The
winning community will be rewarded with a FLICK-FEST, their very own
carbon-neutral music festival featuring some of Canada's best-known bands.

    SPREAD THE WORD

    In addition to Sir Richard Branson and Minister Broten, FLICK OFF is
driven by a dynamic group of founders including: Environmental Defence; Virgin
Mobile Canada; Roots Canada and MuchMusic along with other stations from CHUM
Television including Citytv.
    "For almost 30 years now, people have been told the crisis is coming,"
said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. "But it's
here, and we've got to make fundamental changes. As a father, I want to help
make those changes - and think people are ready to do what our governments and
businesses didn't."
    Virgin Mobile Canada will help spread the word about FLICK OFF on its
website, via text and at both Virgin Festivals in Vancouver and Toronto. "At
Virgin Mobile, we're taking Virgin's global vision to do what we can to
protect the environment and are continually focused on making positive changes
in Canada. FLICK OFF really gives us the opportunity to help Canadians,
including our customers and employees, take action and make a difference every
day," said Nathan Rosenberg, Chief Marketing Officer, Virgin Mobile Canada.
    MuchMusic will be promoting FLICK OFF on multiple platforms, kicking off
with a teaser that debuts today on stations reaching Canadians nationwide.
MuchMusic's support also includes integrated content throughout the program
schedule, while www.muchmusic.com features custom content designed to inspire
youth to take action.
    "This edgy campaign is a perfect fit for Much," said David Kines, VP,
Music & Youth Services, CHUM Television. "New research has shown that Canadian
youth care deeply about the environment but also feel it's too difficult to be
eco-conscious. Much is proud to be spreading the word about FLICK OFF and
we're especially excited about engaging youth to do their part to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions."
    Roots will be launching FLICK OFF wear, a branded organic cotton clothing
line which is now available in Roots stores across Canada. To help raise funds
for FLICK OFF, Roots will also be selling action kits and FLICK OFF bracelets.
The action kits feature stickers, flyers, a stencil, ring bands and "Climate
Change," by Shelley Tanaka.
    "Business can be part of the solution," said Michael Budman of Roots.
"But the first step is to stop denying that there's a problem for someone else
to solve. We're all in this together. Awareness is only part of our challenge
- action is what's needed, and our goal is to get as many people as we can to
log on to the website and then FLICK OFF."

    ABOUT FLICK OFF

    FLICK OFF (www.flickoff.org) is a movement to fight global warming. It is
a unique partnership among a national environmental group, companies, media
and government: Environmental Defence, Virgin Mobile Canada, Roots Canada,
MuchMusic and the Government of Ontario.NOTE TO ASSIGNMENT DESKS:   B-roll footage and clips to be released
                                Wednesday, April 25, 1:00 - 1:30 p.m. EDT

    CO-ORDINATES:               - Anik F2 C band analogue, Transponder 3B
                                - Audio subcarrier 6.2 and 6.8
                                - Downlink frequency 3820 vertical

    TOC:                        CFA TX 1/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information: or to arrange interviews with FLICK OFF
partners, please contact: Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416)
323-9521 ext. 232, (647) 280-9521 (cell)