WEEK 7: One month to go and more actions to come on #climatELXN
For over a month and half now, the campaign trail in Canada has seen action after action asking the federal leaders what their plans are to tackle the climate crisis and bridge the gap between science and politics. People are taking inspiring action outside the ballot box, defeating the claims of youth apathy and showing that across Canada, climate change is indeed an election issue. More than that, the actions have obtained answers and commitments from opposition leaders to do better on climate and tar sands policies.
Last week, it started with actions in British Columbia that followed Stephen Harper throughout the province. In Penticton, Kamloops and Burnaby, people showed that the Prime Minister can’t escape a growing movement that’s concerned with climate change, refugee rights, vibrant public services, and First Nations rights. In Kamloops on September 14, three women were kicked out of the event for wearing t-shirts referring to Alan Kurdi and for apparently not “scoring high enough” on a registration check. Our friends at Shit Harper Did have put out a call and workshops to take creative action disrupting Conservatives events during the elections.
At the end of last week, on September 17, people took their cameras to local candidates posters to ask the NDP and Liberal party what their commitments and plans were to transition Canada to 100% renewable energy. Greenpeace Canada, in collaboration with other groups, has also launched a call to action and “I Vote Climate” website last week with tools to send messages to party leaders during the elections.
With multiplying disruptions, photos and questions, we’re also seeing new creative collective action as we grow our mobilizing power. Last week on Thursday, Calgary Climate Action Network activists and a crowd of 50 people delivered a 20-feet tall message to all three federal leaders gathered in the city for the debate: if you want to avoid the carbon bubble and build a new economy that works for people and the planet, you need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Read more about this exciting action here.
And right as the leaders debate was starting, over 1,000 people sent Tweets that took over the Globe Debate hashtag to make the message heard that you can’t talk about the economy without grappling with the scientific reality of climate change. Read some of the highlights of the debate here.
As we near election day the coming four weeks, we have a chance to ramp it up — to keep asking questions at every possible chance but also to mobilize more largely around key moments. We will have to demonstrate that there are many of us who care and seize the opportunity not only to make leaders talk about climate but to push even further their policies, so we can hold them accountable to ambitious measures once they’re elected. We’ll be ready to launch a call to unprecedented action for after the elections to make sure all leaders take note.
Check out our elections website here and bird-dogging toolkit here to take action, using #climatELXN. Stay tuned for actions coming up on September 24 in Montreal and September 28 in Toronto around the next leaders debates.
Click here to get involved in a wave of mobilization by the climate movement this fall, and download the bird-dogging toolkit to organize similar actions calling out and questioning party leaders across party lines during the elections campaign!