Thousands of Canadians Unite for Stronger Action on Climate Change



    
    Non-Partisan Citizens Initiative Gives Canadians the Straight Goods on
    Global Warming And A Place To Be Heard - New Polling Data Released
    

    TORONTO, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - Today, citizens across the country as well as
some of the country's largest and most influential organizations including
Canada's Association for the 45Plus (CARP), the Canadian Jewish Congress, the
Steelworkers Union of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Students, among
others, are uniting as part of a new citizens movement calling for stronger
action on climate change. The official launch today of PowerUP Canada comes
one day after many of the country's most influential leaders, including former
prime ministers, released recommendations for new stronger climate laws and
policies in Canada.
    "Canadians are concerned and trying to do their part but we have some of
the weakest laws in the industrialized world and that's why global warming
pollution in Canada is projected to keep growing," said Tzeporah Berman,
Executive Director of PowerUP Canada. "We're going to make sure Canadians have
a place to voice their concerns and get the information they need to clarify
the difference between real climate leadership and spin."
    PowerUP Canada will provide Canadians with a positive new vision for
Canada, provide non-partisan information about global warming and a common
campaign to amplify citizens' voices, clarify federal parties' and candidates'
climate positions, host public events and build an online networking
community.
    "PowerUP Canada is a campaign that resonates with all generations in
Canada and CARP is proud to support it. We will be reaching out to our members
and encouraging them to engage in this important initiative," said Ross Mayot,
Vice President of Community Development at CARP. CARP is presenting a new
vision of aging for Canada and has 350,000 members throughout the country.
    "Global warming is one of the most serious problems that our society
needs to take action on. Canadians are taking personal responsibility for
making changes in their own lives to turn the tide, but that will be
meaningless unless our governments take decisive action to enact stronger laws
to fight climate change," said Kashmir Dhaliwal, President of the Khalsa Diwan
Society, North America's largest Sikh association.
    "We are committed to being part of this bold plan to take action to
develop and use climate-safe technologies to reduce harmful emissions.
Steelworkers know that investing in clean energy will provide the kind of
permanent jobs that Canada needs right now," said Ken Neuman, National
Director for the United Steelworkers Canada.
    "As someone who still had lingering doubts about the climate change only
five years ago, I am now a firm believer that we are facing a critical moment
that the time for saving the planet is now. Individual effort is important,
and Canadians are indeed doing their part, but it is not sufficient without
strong government actions and laws," said Dr. Joseph Wong, Founding National
President, Chinese Canadian National Council.
    PowerUP Canada also released a new national poll today that clearly shows
the majority of Canadians believe stronger climate laws will improve our
economy.
    "The findings show climate change is a central issue for Canadians. Most
people are convinced that making progress in this area will strengthen the
economy for the long term, a lot fewer see it as an effort that will cause
huge economic trauma," said Bruce Anderson, CEO of Harris Decima. "High energy
prices have combined with several other key influences to make people feel
that moving from a carbon heavy economy is prudent, and not doing so carries
economic risk."
    "Well designed environmental measures will not undermine Canada's
competitiveness. Our industry has reduced greenhouse gases by 44 percent
without waiting for government regulation. But this is not enough. Governments
need to create a business climate that will accelerate the integration of
Canada's economic and environmental agendas," said Avrim Lazar, President and
CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada.
    Dr. Mark Jaccard, one of Canada's leading climate policy experts,
recently added his voice to the PowerUP chorus: "We didn't get lead out of
gasoline by having people boycott driving, and we can't get cars and power
plants off carbon emissions that way either. Problems like climate change have
to be solved by government action and so far no federal government has lived
up to the trust of Canadians."
    "Canadians are trying to do their part against global warming," said
actor and author Ann-Marie MacDonald, "but this isn't a problem individuals
can solve. I am supporting PowerUP because it's good to change our lightbulbs
but it's much more important to change the laws."
    A high profile green carpet event tonight at the Gladstone Hotel in
Toronto celebrates the official launch of PowerUP Canada. Prominent supporters
of PowerUP Canada include Canadian Olympian, Adam Kreek - Gold Medalist at the
Beijing Olympics, Canadian actors Rachel McAdams, Kiefer Sutherland, 
Neve Campbell, Charles Martin Smith, Prof. Thomas Homer-Dixon, Clayton Ruby,
Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Designer Evan Biddell,
Moses Znaimer and many more.





For further information:

For further information: see www.powerupcanada.ca or please contact:
Tzeporah Berman, Executive Director, PowerUP Canada - (604) 313-4713; Tim
Gray, Steering Committee, PowerUP Canada - (416) 986-2408; Press inquiries
related to the Green Carpet Gala contact Dawna Shulman - (818) 632-3296, Video
and still photos available

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CANADIANS FOR CLIMATE LEADERSHIP (CCL)

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