June 29, 2022

Communities Across Canada Mark Heat Dome Anniversary With Call to “End Climate Delay”

Organizers want an end to fossil fuel expansion and the passage of a Just Transition Act. 

Photo/Video Available Here

Multiple Locations – Today, communities across Canada held a series of marches and rallies to mark the one year anniversary of Canada’s deadliest climate disaster – the 2021 Heat Dome. Organizers in LOCATION joined the Day of Action carrying signs calling on Justin Trudeau to “End Climate Delay”.

“Climate delay is what we’re living through where the government talks about understanding climate change, but then turns around and makes decisions that deepen the climate crisis,” Katie Perfitt, an organizer with 350.org said. “Last summer’s Heat Dome showed just how high the cost of continuing down that path can be.”

More than 600 lives were lost during the Heat Dome in late June and early July 2021.

“The impacts of the Heat Dome can’t be forgotten, and neither can the core lessons we learned last summer,” said Dr. Larry Barzelai, chair BC chapter of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. “First, climate impacts like this are only going to become more common. Second, that we need to do everything we can to protect people and communities, especially those most vulnerable”.

It was followed by one of the worst wildfire seasons on record in Western Canada, with smoke causing issues all across the country.

“There’s no province, city or town in Canada that is immune to the impacts of climate change,” Perfitt explained. “Whether it’s extreme heat, fires, flooding or the storms we saw a few weeks ago in Ontario, the impacts of Canada’s climate delay are being felt across the country.”

Organizers also highlighted the disproportionate impact that climate impacts, like the Heat Dome, are having on frontline and Indigenous communities.

“Climate change threatens to irreversibly alter the conditions which sustain the cultural livelihood of First Nations communities, putting future generations in peril,” said Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer with the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “Necessary actions to avert and respond to climate disaster must include the assertion of First Nations’ Title, Rights, Treaty Rights, and inherent jurisdiction when making decisions that directly affect the welfare of our territories. We will continue to ensure the defense of our lands and waters while actively opposing dangerous projects that exacerbate the climate emergency.”

The actions called on the government to put a moratorium on fossil fuel expansion and to pass the long promised Just Transition Act, a piece of legislation that Justin Trudeau first committed to bring forward in 2019.

“Whether it’s approving Bay du Nord, giving a loan guarantee to the Trans Mountain Pipeline or watering down and slow rolling key pieces of climate legislation, this government just isn’t doing what it actually will take to tackle the climate emergency,” Perfitt explained. “Decisions like this are putting us on a path to more climate disasters. That means more homes and lives lost and less time to pass the kind of legislation we really need to tackle this crisis.”

More information about the Day of Action can be found at climatedelay.ca


Contact: Cam Fenton, [email protected], 604-369-2155