MONTREAL, May 3, 2019 /CNW/ - High school students in over 65 towns across the country are striking from school today to demand bold, climate justice plans from all federal parties. Their message? That virtually all federal parties currently get an "F" grade for their climate action plans and that students will continue striking until they see real climate action.
The striking youth have an assignment for all federal parties: hand-in your climate action plan by a due date of July 1. The youth leaders, in consultation with policy experts, will mark each plan and release the report cards for all Canadians to consider when they cast their vote in the October federal election.
"Climate change is not and should not be a partisan issue. Our future depends on at least one federal party presenting an ambitious and effective climate plan that aligns with science," says Emma Lim, climate striker and grade 12 student from London, Ontario, "We will share the report cards with Canadians and encourage them to vote for the best plan, to vote for their children's future."
What does a "passing grade" plan look like? Bold emission reductions, stopping fossil fuel expansion, eliminating subsidies to fossil fuel companies , building a just transition for all workers, full implementation of UNDRIP, and protection for vulnerable groups amongst other demands.
"Climate Action means more than reducing emissions. It means that no one is left behind in the transition to a clean economy." says Rebecca Hamilton, a climate striker and high school student in Vancouver, "This requires bold leadership and for Canadians to have the courage to support real action that will stop climate change."
The May 3rd strikes come on the heels of the March 15th strikes, which brought over 1.6 million strikers around the world, including 160,000 students in Canada, out of class and into the streets. The Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada responded by telling students that change will come eventually. Today, students strike because they no longer have time for vague, empty promises. The time for incremental change is over; Canada needs bold, just climate action.
"Our governments need to acknowledge the severity of the crisis we're in. We appreciate the work done to date to implement carbon pricing and support the transition to electric vehicles but Canadians should not be expected to tackle climate injustice alone." says Jamie Latvaitis, a climate striker from Montreal, "Bold action requires courage and we are hoping that by July 1st we will see all major political parties release bold and ambitious climate plans that address the problems facing Canada."
Trudeau is also holding a Youth Summit today in Ottawa. To gain attendance, he held a social media contest, asking youth to post on social media their answers to the questions: "What does service mean to you? What inspires you to serve?".
Climate Strike Canada responds that we are not inspired to serve a state who chooses to sell the futures of their children for short-term gain. We have been inspired to strike, and we will continue to strike until we live in a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable Canada.
Canada is experiencing warming at twice the global rate; in Northern Canada, three times. British Columbia and Alberta now have a "wildfire season". Increased flooding is spilling over the banks of Prairie rivers. The ground is literally collapsing below the feet of Indigenous peoples in the North due to permafrost melt. Millions in coastal cities are threatened by sea level rise.
Federal party leaders, the youth ask you, what must we do to inspire you to protect our lives.
To learn more about where your local strike is, the movement, and how to get involved, go to www.climatestrikecanada.org.
Instagram: @climatestrikecanada @lpsuquebec
Important Hashtags: #inspiredtostrike #inspireeamaifest #climatestrikecanada #lpsuquebec
Payton Mitchell 514-258-5636
Julia Weder 778-984-5824
Dalie Lauzon-Vallières 514-973-5387
Climate Strike Canada Spokespeople (to arrange an interview please call the number above):
Ashley Torres, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec (English/French)
Jamie Latvaitis, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec (French/English)
Rebecca Hamilton, high school, Vancouver, BC (English)
Emma Lim, high school, London, ON (English/French)
Alienor Rougeot University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (French/English)
**All organizers are empowered to speak on behalf of their school, town or region. However, only Climate Strike Canada spokespeople speak on behalf of the collective.**
SOURCE Climate Strike Canada
For further information: English Contact: Payton Mitchell 514-258-5636, email@example.com; Julia Weder 778-984-5824, firstname.lastname@example.org; French Contact: Dalie Lauzon-Vallières, 514-973-5387, email@example.com