Our work for climate justice includes addressing racism, as climate change disproportionately impacts BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) communities. We want a safer world for all our kids. We hope the ideas below are a helpful place to start. Get in touch if you need support or to share more action ideas: [email protected]
For Our Kids teams are also encouraged to check out: Anti-Racist Actions Your Team Can Take and Learn Together: Decolonization.
1. Start with yourself
By learning and being more aware we can help our families and communities learn too. Watch this 4-min intro: How to raise an anti-racist child (CBC).
2. Learn about the Indigenous land you’re on
Indigenous peoples have cared for the land, waters and all living things since time immemorial. We need Indigenous knowledge and solutions to counter the climate crisis. Ongoing colonization means their cultures are under threat. Find out more about the Indigenous land you’re on: native-land.ca. Learn more about land acknowledgements and beyond.
Research together and talk about this with the kids in your life. Here are some initial questions you could explore:
- What and whose territories are you on? How do Indigenous peoples refer to the place where you live, how is it pronounced?
- What languages are spoken?
- What Indigenous laws or treaties exist?
- What are Indigenous teachings on land stewardship and maintaining relationships with other-than-human beings?
- What are some things we can do to become stewards of the land?
3. Talk to your kids about race
Here are 8 Podcasts That Help You Talk to Kids About Race.
Library check-up: The stories our kids are exposed to matter. Does your home library or your child’s school library include a number of books that feature Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC)? Talk with your school librarian about adding books that showcase a wide variety of people, so that BIPOC kids can see themselves in these stories. If your school has a limited budget, organize a book drive or fundraiser and get those books on shelves!
- Moms Against Racism provides Diverse Book Baskets - you can purchase for yourself, your school or donate to support a book basket delivery to schools in need.
- Check out Parents for Diversity’s Diversity Library catalog.
- Check out the @booksfordiversity instagram account for some ideas of cool books.
4. Financially support anti-racist organizations and movements. Follow their news and show up for their actions and events. For example:
- Asian Pacific Environmental Network
- Assembly of 7 Generations
- Black Lives Matter Canada
- Black Environmental Initiative
- Canadian Coalition for Environmental and Climate Justice
- Council of Agencies Serving South Asians
- Foundation for Black Communities
- Indigenous Climate Action
- Indian Residential School Survivors Society
- Migrant Rights Network
- Moms Against Racism
- Pay Your Rent
Research local organizations near you working on racial justice and support them. Let us know who we should add to this list: [email protected]
5. Connect and learn with others
Collective learning, reflection and action is important to deepen our understanding and stay dedicated. Here are some ways to connect with other families for accountability and support:
- Join Moms Against Racism (Canada)
- Join or start a For Our Kids team to connect with others locally.
- Start a conversation or organize an event for your school community.
- If you’re white, consider following resources from Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ)
- See our list here, of free online courses to learn about decolonization
Gather some friends and watch or read and then discuss these resources:
- Racism Is Killing the Planet: The ideology of white supremacy leads the way toward disposable people and a disposable natural world
- Talking to Young Children About Race and Racism
- What systemic racism in Canada looks like (10 min)
- How to be anti-racist: it’s more than books, quotes and Blackout Tuesday (5 min)
- Moms Against Racism (Canada): Revolutionary Mothering | Dr. Lisa Gunderson | One Love Consulting (25 min)
- Dad Central (Canada): Dads and talking to your kids about racism (1hour)
- Colour Code: A Podcast About Race in Canada
- Good Ancestor Podcast with Layla F. Saad
- Anti-Racism podcast list for more ideas
The bread and forest march: for the love of our children
By: France Duquette (Mères au front Montréal) & Jenna Web (Mères au front - Rosemère et les environs)
Photo Credits to: Isabelle Michauld, Julie Durocher.
On Mother's Day, the Mères au front (Mothers step in) movement, created to hold decision makers accountable for their (non)actions on climate, and the organization Ma place au travail (My place at work), created to deal with the lack of places in educational daycare services, organized a massive gathering in Quebec City. Thousands of mothers and grandmothers from 13 different Quebec regions accompanied by their children, families and allies marched towards Quebec’s National Assembly. Driven by love for their children, they came to celebrate Mother's Day in a different way: "We don't want flowers or chocolate, but the political courage to face the greatest threat of our time: the climate and social crises."
As early as its creation in 2020, Mothers step in had considered the idea of a large gathering. The pandemic turned this plan on its head and it was not until two years later that the project was finally able to come to fruition. In March 2022 the conditions finally looked conducive to our original idea and the decision was made to go ahead with the march; we barely had two months to organize everything. From the start, we knew we wanted to go to the National Assembly of Quebec, especially since there will be provincial elections on October 3rd.
Mothers step in and My place at work felt it was strategic to their demands to the Legault government choosing one each:
- Adopt a framework law that obliges the government to scrutinize all its decisions for their impact on the environment and social equity.
- The legal recognition of the right of toddlers to receive an affordable educational service of quality so that parents can return to work if they so choose.
As soon as the idea was launched, the enthusiasm was palpable. It was clear that mothers, families and their allies needed to meet together and express themselves in the public sphere. The pandemic had prevented us from this critical exercise in democracy for too long. We also needed to march because of the rapid growth and scale of the environmental crisis and social justice.
Mothers step in has used art to convey its messages since its creation. It is therefore not surprising that the artistic aspect of this march was as important as the political ones. We are lucky that one of the co-founders of the movement, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, a very talented movie director and novelist, was able to mobilize the artistic area and has been able to mobilize in a very short time an impressive number of artists from different backgrounds in a very short time. The event was conceptualized and articulated by combining different artistic components (the moving forest, the body cry, poetry) with powerful speeches and messages.
The organization of the Bread and Forest Walk was full of challenges. The first was to align the objectives and visions of two movements, Mothers step in and My Place at Work. One thing is certain, we knew from the start that despite the inherent challenge of bringing together two movements that had never worked together, there were obvious links in our common struggles: the precariousness of mothers caused by the lack of available spaces in daycare facilities and the environmental crisis.
The second challenge was undoubtedly the short period of time to organize such an event, including securing funds to provide transportation for the participants. Along the way, we had no choice but to drop several ideas and focus on the strongest ones to maximize their impact and their feasibility.
Despite the obstacles and challenges, we owe the success of the march to a number of things: an efficient and centralized coordination, access to qualified people experienced in the organization of such events, over 100 volunteers, significant media coverage (especially the week preceding the march) and above all, the eagerness of mothers and their allies to come together and to express loudly and clearly their love for their children and their unwavering intention not to give up in the face of the lack of sense urgency among our elected officials.
We came together, five thousand strong, for a beautiful Sunday on Mother’s Day. These thousands of sparks will undoubtedly ignite others. This march is only the beginning!
More photos from this inspiring mobilization here on Facebook and Instagram.
Summer Family Action: Curious Climate Conversations
Seasonal Family Climate Actions: Get involved from wherever you are and on your own timeline. We hope you and your family will join in around your kitchen table, or with friends or neighbours. You’ll be acting with hopeful families across the country and making a difference. Make sure you're signed-up here for updates.
Your mission for this summer, should you choose to accept it, is to insert the words "I'm curious ..." and "climate" into one or more conversations sometime this summer.
Here's an example:
You run into a neighbour at the park or grocery store, and you both start talking about the weather. When it feels natural, you say something like: "I'm curious ... do you feel that changes in the climate are impacting your life, apart from the weather?"
Or: "I'm curious ... do you think the weather is getting more extreme because of climate change?"
The challenge is to keep your mind open and really listen to what the other person is saying. Turn on your active listening skills and pick up on verbal and non-verbal clues to keep the conversation going. Keep the focus on them by asking questions and being genuinely interested in their perspective.
Above all, hold yourself back from sharing everything you know
about climate change and its impacts.
For many people, hearing someone talk about "climate change" doesn't always lead to healthy or productive action or changed mindsets. While some people are motivated by what they learn from reliable sources and what they see and hear for themselves, others may not be so sure. And for substantial change to happen, a substantial portion of the population needs to be engaged. Not necessarily to agree, but to be engaged.
Listening to what others are proud of, would like to see more of, are worried about or are unsure of is a step toward finding common ground and making a connection. And connection is what changes attitudes and mindsets over time. Not alienation.
Share your story - and enter our prize draw!
We'd love to hear how your conversation went, and what you learned. As a thank you for sharing your story with us, we'll enter your name in a draw to win one of three awesome book prizes!
After your conversation, take a minute to capture your curious climate conversation with a couple of notes, maybe a photo or drawing of what happened, what surprised you, and whether you found any common ground with your conversation partner. If you like, you can use this form as a prompt, as well as a way to capture your thoughts.
Then, share what happened with us using this Google Form. You'll automatically be entered in the draw. Every conversation submitted earns you one entry, so more conversations = more chances to learn and win.
We'll share insights and resources from this activity to keep the conversation about climate conversations going.
Questions or ideas? You can find us at [email protected]
Good luck, and safe summer days!
Parents hand decision-makers a physical reminder of What We Love
Brianne Whyte (For Our Kids Toronto), Natalie Caine (For Our Kids national support team), Vanessa Brown (FOK-Toronto), Anne Keary (FOK-Toronto) deliver a copy of What We Love to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland's office and staff on June 30.
Parents, grandparents, kids and families from across the For Our Kids network committed to learning about the Indigenous territories they live on this Spring, and contributed to a heartfelt collection of photos and artwork about nature, what they love and want to protect. The submissions were compiled and published in a new book called What We Love.
The book sets those images to a poem about loving the planet and understanding our responsibility to respect, appreciate, and nurture the land and water for future generations. Check it out the book in digital form here or in video form here.
The book was hand-delivered to Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland's office today, and will find its way to the offices of many more political leaders over the next few months. The mothers delivering the book requested a reaction video, as well as a follow-up meeting with the Minister to discuss an end to colonial violence in Canada, transitioning our economy away from fossil fuels and financing a just transition.
What We Love carries a message of urgency and action to decision-makers at every level, in a physical form that they can hold; a reminder that the power to protect what we love is in their hands.
Read more in For Our Kids' media release here.
Change Fossil Fuel Advertising Rules
For Our Kids is a coalition partner in the Fossil Fuel Ad-Ban Campaign. Fossil fuel air pollution causes up to 34,000 premature deaths in Canada each year. Even though there is clear evidence, fossil fuel companies continue to lie to us about the known dangers of their products.
It's reminiscent of the fight to control tobacco advertising. In 1965, 50% of Canadian adults smoked. Smoking was not restricted in any public space, and rates of lung cancer increased substantially. Addressing cigarette smoke as a major public health threat raised awareness of the dangers, for smokers and non-smokers alike. Thankfully now only 15% of Canadians are smoking. We have healthier environments, particularly for children.
A ban on fossil fuel ad campaigns could have the same result.
👉Individuals or For Our Kids teams can sign our open letter to Federal Ministers here. 👈
And make sure to join the For Our Kids network to stay informed of what parents, grandparents and caregivers can do as the campaign develops.
Help us call for:
Demand #1: A comprehensive ban on advertising by fossil fuel industries, products, and services (such as gasoline and gas utilities) and internal combustion engine vehicles.
Demand #2: A robust regulatory response to address misleading environmental claims by fossil fuel companies.
Demand #3: Regulations mandating the disclosure of the health and environmental risks associated with fossil fuel production and use.
More info: stopfossilfuelads.ca
Why Mothers hold untapped power in the climate fight
Moms in the For Our Kids network are profiled in this inspiring look at why mothers' voices and actions are powerful tools to call for change.
Why Mothers hold untapped power in the climate fight, The Weather Network, May 8, 2022
For Jennifer Smith, climate action is a family affair
Who are the parents, grandparents, and guardians that make up the For Our Kids network? Here's a profile of one of the members of Pour Nos Enfants/For Our Kids Montréal.
For Jennifer Smith, climate action is a family affair, National Observer, May 9, 2022
Parents intervene in Mathur et. al. v Ontario
For Our Kids Toronto and For Our Kids national are thrilled to share that we’ve been granted intervenor status in the youth-led climate lawsuit Mathur et. al. v. Her Majesty in Right of Ontario. Arguments will be read Sept. 12-14.
Seven young Ontarians began a legal challenge of the Ontario government's weak emissions-reductions target in 2018, and the case is still before the court as the government attempts to have it dismissed.
The intervenor status was granted to For Our Kids along with the Assembly of First Nations, Indigenous Climate Action, Friends of the Earth, Asper Centre, and Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE).
Read and share the news release from EcoJustice, June 28, 2022
Read National Observer's coverage of the case, May 12 2022 and its coverage of the decision on intervenors June 28, 2022
Keep Fossil Fuel Promotion out of BC Schools
Have you heard about the K-12 learning resources developed by Fortis BC and marketed to teachers across BC? Fortis calls its program Energy Leaders, and it presents natural gas as a necessary and harmless energy source, without mentioning any of the negative health or environmental impacts that come from burning fossil fuels.
Here are just a few examples.
What's the problem?
There is a clear self-serving interest in fossil fuel companies providing learning resources to schools, especially as part of a science curriculum.
In this case, Fortis BC marketed its material directly to teachers via email, in an attractive, ready-to-use form that would appeal to teachers facing multiple challenges in delivering lessons during the pandemic. There is nothing illegal in what Fortis has done, because learning resources don't have to be approved by school boards or the Ministry of Education. But should large corporations who have resources beyond those of most school districts be taking advantage of circumstances like the pandemic to promote their products?
And should an energy company be promoting and normalizing the use of fossil fuels through an education curriculum, in spite of overwhelming evidence of the direct connection between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and global warming driving climate change, particularly in BC, where communities experienced deadly heat domes, wildfires and flooding over the past year alone?
This issue was raised by Dogwood and Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), who joined forces to bring this to the attention of parents and school boards. Presentations have been made to school boards in Victoria, Vancouver and Sooke, and CAPE started an open letter to the Minister of Education in BC. You can read more about CAPE's campaign in this article.
Dogwood and CAPE also recently co-hosted an information session for parents with For Our Kids: you can view the recording here.
While the school boards are still considering what action they will take, the Greater Victoria Teachers' Association recently passed a motion not to use the Fortis BC learning resources.
Meanwhile, Fortis has temporarily taken the Energy Leaders program off its website, with this message:
At this time Energy Leaders is temporarily unavailable as we conduct our annual review of the lesson plans and supporting materials to ensure they provide relevant and balanced information. Please check back at the start of the fall 2022/23 school year.
What can parents do?
Inform your school board trustees
Although school boards do not need to approve learning resources for use within their district schools, they do have the authority to determine whether those resources are appropriate and how they are chosen, as well as the responsibility for recommending learning resources for their district schools.
Parents have a direct connection with their local school boards: school trustees are elected representatives of the community and accountable to the community. So it makes sense for parents to raise this issue with their local school board and request them to:
act on their authority to determine whether the Fortis BC learning resources are appropriate and should be used by schools in the district,
inform the Minister of Education of their concerns about the learning resources, and
ensure that teachers in the district have access to science-based curriculum resources
For Our Kids, CAPE and Dogwood will provide resources and support you in contacting and presenting to your school board: email us at [email protected]
Email BC's Minister of Education and Child Care
You can use CAPE's letter as a template to create your own, letting the minister know why you're concerned about industry and corporate influence in schools. Email Minister Jennifer Whiteside at: [email protected] You can also copy your MLA (find contact information here) and your school board.
Share with your network and get a conversation going!
It's a challenge for parents to keep up with everything that's happening at their kids' schools, but this is an example of why it matters, and an opportunity to start a conversation about what students are learning about climate change.
For Our Kids Teams Make Submission to Ministry of Natural Resources
Teams across the For Our Kids network have been involved in creative campaigns to push for swift and expansive Just Transition legislation from the Canadian government. As part of those efforts, teams have also banned together to make a formal submission to the Ministry of Natural Resources Just Transition consultation process.
For Our Kids Alberta, For Our Kids Burnaby, For Our Kids Cowichan, Pour Nos Enfants / For Our Kids Montréal, For Our Kids Nanaimo-Ladysmith, and Parents for Climate Victoria co-wrote a joint submission to represent parents across the country. An excerpt:
Dear Natural Resources Canada,
We are teams in the national For Our Kids network, comprised of parent-led, community-based grassroots groups involved in climate action. We represent parents, guardians, grandparents, and kids in our communities and across the country, and we’re submitting joint feedback on your Just Transition consultation process. Canada is already late legislating a just transition. Our families – our kids – deserve better.
We know the Just Transition Act is a key part of our transition away from a fossil fuel–based economy, into one that puts Indigenous Peoples, workers, the environment, our communities and our kids first. Though promised back in 2019, this legislation is moving way too slowly, which indicates that the Liberal government is not listening to what Indigenous knowledge and science is telling us. Your actions do not align with what Canada needs to do to ensure a livable planet for our kids.
Getting this legislation right and passing it quickly is one of the most important tasks of your government. It will mean the difference between a Canada our kids can thrive in, or a world filled with suffering. See photos below of our families and our public actions to support Just Transition Legislation, as a reminder of our commitment to create a better world for all our kids. But we can’t do this alone. We need you to take the action this crisis requires. Create a new Ministry of Just Transition and enact the bold and inspiring transition our kids and all future generations need.
The parents, guardians, grandparents and kids of: For Our Kids Alberta, For Our Kids Burnaby, For Our Kids Cowichan, Pour Nos Enfants / For Our Kids Montréal, For Our Kids Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Parents for Climate Victoria.
Check out the full submission here.
Interested to get involved in the For Our Kids network? Join us here!
Moms Speak Up For Mother's Day
Across Turtle Island mothers are leading a movement of parents taking increased climate action. You could hear their fierce and powerful voices across Canada for Mother's Day.
Marching for Bread and Forests (and climate justice) in Québec
In Québec City, the network Mothers Step In (Mères au front) mobilized 10,000 families to the streets for a march for Bread and Forests. Children sang to Prime Minister François Legault to the tune of "Frère Jacques", outside the National Assembly. Asking "are you sleeping?", while demanding climate and social justice.
You can hear more about this inspiring mobilization in this CBC interview with one of the organizers. And check out Mères au front's Instagram for more sights and sounds.
Teams in the For Our Kids network were also making headlines in mainstream media:
- For Jennifer Smith, climate action is a family affair (National Observer)
- Why mothers hold untapped power in the climate fight (Weather Network)
- What we want for Mother's Day: Happy, healthy kids, and a livable future for them (The Province)
And thanks to all the families that took part in our Give a gift of Climate Action for Mother's Day campaign, we hope you all enjoyed your gifts.
Team Action Ideas
Here are a few "evergreen" ideas for teams that aren't bound by a certain time or deadline, could be tactics brought to multiple issues, help bring a group of people together, and/or have been successes in other For Our Kids teams.
If you have a great "evergreen" idea for a For Our Kids team, please suggest it here!
Looking for ideas for your team or group to take on? You can always check out our current actions on the take action page.
Give a gift of climate action this Mothers Day
“Actions speak louder than words” is something mothers say a lot. This Mother’s Day, we want Moms to take the day off and be treated to actions that really do speak louder than words. If you're a Mom, all you have to do is pass on this link to your family.
For those looking for a Mother's Day gift, we’ve made it easy for you: pick one of the gifts below, then go to this page, enter all the details and submit your pledge. The real gift will be when you carry out your action, so make sure to plan what you'll do, and when!
Ten gifts you can give a Mom for Mother's Day.
- The gourmet meal: I will cook 5 meat-free dinners this month and share photos to inspire others.
- Money talks: I will make the time to research my personal investments and pension plan to find out if I am investing in fossil fuels (support given here, and here), and make a plan for divestment if need be.
- Snuggle up: I will look into what is involved in getting a heat pump so we can save some energy at home (lots of learning events and resources available).
- Take a trip: I will go for a ride on public transit with the kids and take a selfie or make a video to share and promote transit.
- Better than a bunch of flowers: I will take part in For Our Kids’ Spring Family Climate Action with the kids - connecting to nature, making art and sending it to us to share with decision-makers *note the deadline for this is April 30.
- Help with cleaning.. our transport: I will ask our school board and my provincial representative how we can get more Electric School buses on the road and sign-up here to give support to make it happen.
- Taking time to listen: I will go to work one day with a sign pinned to my shirt saying ‘let’s talk about climate change’ (some tips here, and here).
- A love letter for the future: I will write to my local MP in support of a Just Transition or support a campaign like this one.
- A special conversation: I will join the next For Our Kids welcome call and find out more about climate organising.
- The ultimate date night: I will promise to join you on your next climate action, or we can go together for the first time.
We hope you have some fun with this, and we can't wait to see these gifts in action! Please share photos of your actions with us. You can submit them through our form here, or if you don't have a Google account email them to: [email protected].
Remember - this is the page to sign up for your gift. Thanks for taking part - this is going to be a great gift!
Join the Banking For Our Kids Campaign!
Did you know that Canada's five big banks are among the top 20 funders of fossil fuels in the world? Since 2015, when Canada committed to the Paris Agreement to limit warming to 1.5 degrees celsius its five largest banks - RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO and CIBC - have funnelled over $911 billion into oil and gas, according to the most recent Fossil Fuel Finance Report Banking on Climate Chaos.
Even more disturbing: last year reflected a huge increase in investment, at $131 B, after a slight downward trend.
Part of that money - your money, if you're a customer - provides the financial backing for controversial projects like the Coastal GasLink pipeline and Trans Mountain Pipeline, which are violating Indigenous rights and keeping Canada locked into fossil fuel infrastructure.
Anyone concerned about the health of our kids, now and in the future, knows this needs to change. Imagine the impact that money could make if it were invested instead in innovative solutions to the climate challenges we're facing.
That’s why we want you to be part of our new Banking For Our Kids Campaign, and join the national movement to take action against fossil finance!
We believe parents and grandparents can use our superpower - our love for our kids - to motivate banks to stop bankrolling the climate crisis and start investing in a safe future for all of us. We also believe that, as caregivers, we can make this conversation mainstream and accessible, because we all have a right to know where our money is going and demand better.
How can you get involved?
Sign up here to get email updates and invitations to bank-focused meetings and calls to action. We hold regular meetings, workshops and talks to build your skills and knowledge.
Check out our Banking For Our Kids Campaign Update to find out what's happening this spring! We're participating in national action, and doing sessions on how to move your money for climate justice, sustainable investing 101, the role of bank regulation and more. We've also created a Stop Dirty Banks Toolkit that will help you take action as we gear up for bank AGM season in April.
Can’t make it to an event or meeting? Reach out to our banks campaign organizer Gabrielle Willms at [email protected] to learn more about how you can support or to share any suggestions or ideas – we want this campaign to reflect your interests, skills and creativity!
In the meantime, here are a few resources to get started!
This Resource List is a great way to learn more about how banks are financing fossil fuels and climate change.
All working Canadians are members of at least one of the top 10 pension funds that invest more than $2 trillion in retirement savings, often into fossil fuels. Getting banks and pension plans to change their investment policies is possible. Check out these ideas and choose the one(s) that fit for you.
For more about pension plans here's a step-by-step guide from Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health
Here's good info about actions aimed at Canada's Top Banks AGMs
RBC Revealed has much more on the impact of investment in fossil fuels
Have kids or grandkids starting on their own banking journey? Check out Banking on a Better Future for youth actions
For more info on contacting your bank or taking your business elsewhere, check out the Bank Switch site.
Banking For Our Kids Campaign Update
Posted by Gabrielle Willms · March 08, 2023 2:08 PM · 1 reaction
Question Fossil Fuel Influence
Posted by For Our Kids · November 27, 2022 5:14 PM
Bring Electric School Buses To Your Community
Posted by For Our Kids · November 23, 2022 10:40 AM · 2 reactions
Ontario Election 2022: Candidate Questions
The most important thing you can do as parents, grandparents, and guardians of the kids who will live with the consequences of our actions is to speak up! What are the issues that touch closest to home for you?
Is there a natural habitat near you that's threatened by highway construction or sprawling development?
Agricultural land you want to see safeguarded so local food producers can survive?
Do you have a vision for what a liveable, sustainable community should look like?
Would you prefer to see clean energy powering Ontario's growing electrical grid, rather than ramping up gas production?
Are you worried about yourself, family or friends missing out on employment opportunities in the clean energy, industry and construction sector?
Do you want more resources and strategies for neighbourhoods suffering the most from extreme heat events?
What does the world you want your kids growing up in look like?
For Our Kids is gathering questions from you to send to candidates in a survey, and will share candidate responses. Please add your suggested question below, and add your support for the questions you see posed by others.
We're an active network of groups, families and individuals involved in climate action, and there is always a lot of news to share! Check out our latest e-newsletters below.
You can join the FOK network to receive these updates directly to your inbox.
Enjoy our look back at 2022 here!
Year end review! December 2021
Moms Won't Stop the Call to Save Old Growth Forests
This speech was delivered by Parents 4 Climate member Erin Renwick at a recent rally in Victoria to stop logging of old growth forests
My name is Erin Renwick. I’m a working member of Parents 4 Climate, and a mother to three teenagers. My own mother is a survivor who raised my sister and me by herself after the unexpected death of my father when we were very small. Before her, my grandmother raised six children while working to teach nurses their trade, and my great-grandmother raised her own six children on a cattle ranch, working long hard days while feeding and caring for her family. I come from a line of fierce women who never give up.
I have vowed to be fierce too. The work I do with Parents 4 Climate, and the time I’ve spent at Fairy Creek, at rallies and marches, in meetings with other activists and meetings with politicians, writing emails, making phone calls, all of this work, these many hours, is for my kids. And not just my kids, but all kids, everywhere.
I am far from alone—there are many of us, both here today and around the globe doing this work—mostly women, mostly off the sides of our desks, between caring for our kids and keeping up with our paid work. We are doing this largely unpaid labour
out of love.
Political leaders, however, are paid to do this work full time. So where are they, and who are they listening to? Why are we not seeing real change?
I would like to address you specifically Minister Katrine Conroy. You are a champion of higher education, of strong families, of fairness for workers. You have achieved great heights in your career, all while raising your four children, and recently enduring the death of your longtime husband. I see that you too are a fierce woman.
I am asking you to be fiercer. I know you walk into some very tough rooms and you face anger coming from many places. I know that as a woman your job is harder, that you have to fight to be heard, that you’ve been doing this for many years now. It must be hard to sleep with the burden of your position.
But you didn’t become a politician because you wanted an easy life, and you are now in a position of power at a time of great importance.
Never in human history have the decisions of our politicians had such immense and lasting consequence. You have this one chance. Stop allowing old growth logging. Our ancient forests are almost gone and your deferrals mean nothing because the forests are still being cut every day. These last few wild and magical places, these carbon sinks, these tourist draws, these unceded territories. You have to protect them by funding the first nations to save their trees and by taking care of forestry workers with a just transition.
I want to remind you of a few of your responsibilities as laid out in the mandate letter the Premier sent you when you accepted your current position:
- You have a responsibility to build an economic recovery that works for everyone—not just those at the top. This means we must see First Nations and forestry workers included in a conservationist future.
- You have a responsibility to create opportunities for Indigenous peoples to be full partners in our economy and provide a clear and sustainable path for everyone to work towards reconciliation. This means that Old Growth logging must stop immediately, while First Nations are financially compensated and consulted fairly and equally.
- You have a responsibility to ensure your ministry’s work continues to achieve Clean BC’s goals. This means keeping what little old growth we have—it is the greatest carbon sink we will ever have.
- You are responsible for seeking out, fostering, and championing good ideas, regardless of their origin. This means meeting with all Indigenous leaders—not just elected ones.
- You have a responsibility to implement the recommendations for the Old Growth Strategic Review to protect more old growth stands. Please note the word protection here — not deferral, protection.
Minister Conroy, we know that the world our children are inheriting is in terrible shape. I don’t know how to fix this. It’s complicated, it’s expensive, there are many stakeholders with different needs.
Everyone is worried. Everyone is angry. But I’m asking you, simply, to look at your children and tell them it’s too complicated. Look at them and throw your hands up, say sorry, buy them something online and hope they will forget your betrayal.
I am here to tell you something important: your children will not forget your betrayal, and this is not too complicated to fix.
Feb 14, 2022
Spring: Family Climate Action
We know not every parent/grandparent/caregiver in our network can get as involved in our local teams as you’d like to. In 2022, we’ll be offering seasonal family action ideas to bring climate action to you! We hope your family will join in around your kitchen table, or with friends or neighbours. You’ll be acting with hopeful families across the country and making a difference. Make sure you're signed-up here for updates.Read more