40+ Communities hold “Canada On Fire” rallies as climate-fueled wildfires and heat warnings continue
Toronto, ON – More than 40 rallies took place across Canada today in response to unprecedented climate change-fueled wildfires and extreme heat. The actions, organized by grassroots climate organizers and the global climate change organization 350.org were part of the “Canada On Fire” Day of Action that brought out communities from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia.
“The heat, floods and wildfires this summer are making it crystal clear that climate change is here and people, especially those in rural, northern and Indigenous communities, are feeling it right now,” explained Amara Possian, 350.org’s Canada Campaigns Director. “This is a climate emergency and it’s time for Justin Trudeau and the federal government to start acting like it.”
Rallies focused on MP offices across the country, asking Members of Parliament to sign a pledge to deliver emergency-level climate action by committing to a moratorium on fossil fuel expansion and to passing sweeping just transition legislation.
“This government has taken some important steps on climate change, but Justin Trudeau always stops short of tackling the big climate challenge in Canada – stopping fossil fuel expansion,” Carter Gorzitza, a volunteer organizer in Edmonton said. “Fossil fuels are the biggest source of emissions in this country, but Justin Trudeau keeps approving new projects and pumping public money into others. We need a moratorium on expansion and a just transition that ensures no worker or community is left behind.”
A number of Members of Parliament signed the pledge, including NDP MP’s Leah Gazan (Winnipeg Center), Matthew Green (Hamilton Center), Richard Cannings (South Okanagan—West Kootenay), Peter Julian (New Westminster-Burnaby), Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie), Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook) and Laurel Collins (Victoria), and Liberal MP’s Julie Dzerowicz (Davenport) and Ryan Turnbull (Whitby). Several Liberal MP’s, including Arif Virani (Parkdale-High Park) and Terry Beech (Burnaby North-Seymour), joined rallies at their office but refused to sign the pledge. Candidates for both the NDP and Green Parties in the upcoming election also signed the pledge.
“With an election on the horizon, climate change is front and center for voters all across the country,” Possian added. “For the past six years Justin Trudeau has prioritized looking like a climate leader without taking action at the pace and scale we need. The climate impacts we’re feeling this summer is showing why that approach isn’t working.”
Contact: Cam Fenton, [email protected], 604-369-2155