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published Action on Banks in Take Action 2022-04-21 09:54:56 -0700

Action on Banks

Do you know how much Canada's big five banks invest in fossil fuel industries? More than $131 billion in 2021 alone, according to the most recent (April 2022) Fossil Fuel Finance Report Banking on Climate Chaos. And since 2016, when Canada committed to the Paris Agreement to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to avoid raising the global temperature beyond a liveable level, $700 billion has been given to fossil fuel companies by RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO and CIBC

Even more disturbing: last year reflected a huge increase in investment after a slight downward trend.

Part of that money - your money, if you're one of their customers - provides the financial backing for projects like the Coastal GasLink pipeline which are violating Indigenous Rights

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 sustainable energy, a fair and just transition for anyone dependent on the fossil fuel industry, and innovative solutions to the climate change challenges we're facing. 

So what can we do?

One of the most powerful tools we have as parents and grandparents to demand climate action is directing where our savings and pension plan funds are invested.

All working Canadians are members of at least one of the top 10 pension funds that invest more than $1.6 trillion in retirement savings, often into fossil fuels. Most mortgages, RRSPs and savings accounts are through one of the big 5 Canadian banks. Business and personal investments count too. 

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. 

Most of all, record your actions, share them with your networks, and with For Our Kids so we can amplify your voices. Stay tuned as this campaign continues to grow across the country. You can reach us at [email protected]

Resources

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 inspiration, see this letter from more than 40 Indigenous women leaders calling on banks to respect Indigenous rights and stop providing financial support for the industry destroying their homelands

For more info on contacting your bank or taking your business elsewhere, check out the Bank Switch site

 

published Take Action 2022-04-21 09:48:17 -0700

Take Action

Two Quick Actions with Big Impact
Posted by · September 23, 2022 7:44 AM

Challenge Racism
Posted by · September 14, 2022 10:34 AM · 2 reactions

Get More Electric School Buses on the Road in BC
Posted by · September 08, 2022 5:33 PM

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published Ontario candidate questions in Ontario election 2022-03-22 07:27:06 -0700

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. 

published Eblasts in Events 2022-03-19 08:39:45 -0700

Network Newsletters

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.

September 15, 2022

August 3, 2022

July 5, 2022

June 8, 2022

April 4, 2022

March 19, 2022

March 6, 2022

Feb 4, 2022

Jan 8, 2022

Year end review! December 2021

Nov 13, 2021

Oct 28, 2021

Oct 9, 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Thank you.
Erin Renwick
Feb 14, 2022

published Spring Family Action in Past Actions 2022-03-18 06:10:26 -0700

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
published Ask MPs for a Just Transition in Take Action 2022-03-07 09:41:28 -0800

Ask MPs for a Just Transition

Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, parents and grandparents in the For Our Kids network started organizing for a Just and Green Recovery from COVID-19. That work continued through the last federal election, holding our MPs to their election promises for a Just Transition Act; leglislation that could address the intertwined climate, social, and economic crises we are in.

Engaging our political leaders is a key thing we can do for our kids. Politicians aren't used to hearing from parents about climate change. Being contacted by concerned families is unusual, and helps apply pressure for urgent and accelerated climate action. Whether in a For Our Kids team or acting with your family or friends, join in:

Contact your MP

Find your MP here. Email or phone their office. Not sure what to say? Here are some ideas:

  • let them know you are their constituent (living in their riding)
  • if you've met formally with them before, remind them what you met about  
  • speak from the heart and share your concern about your kids' future if urgent climate action isn't taken
  • ask them to meet with you about your concerns and the need for a Just Transition (and/or to present your Just Transition parliamentary petition - see below). 
  • If you have never met with your MP before and want some help to prepare, talk to us. We can share tips or connect you with parents that have done this work successfully. You can research your MP and where they stand on climate change and have some questions prepared. You could also watch this video with tips from two mothers about engaging politicians, or check out how this For Our Kids team got a meeting with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. 
  • send them mail to follow up: include a note or hand-drawn picture from your child; older kids can add their own thoughts!

Gather signatures on a parliamentary petition 

Download Council of Canadian's CLIMATE CODE RED TOOLKIT to get the tools you need to present a parliamentary petition about a Just Transition to your MP.

These are formal petitions that must be tabled by your MP in the House of Commons if there’s a minimum of 25 signatures. The government of the day is then required to formally respond within 45 calendar days. Get 25 friends or neighbours in your riding to sign and then deliver it to your MP!

Here's a tutorial from the Climate Emergency Unit on how to engage your MP with this petition, and how we'll know when we're making progress. 

Submit your feedback online

The federal government is looking for feedback and comments on its discussion paper. Here's the link to provide feedback online by April 30, 2022.

 

Background on the term Just Transition and Legislation in Canada

Some history and context about the term Just Transition from Climate Justice AllianceWhat Do We Mean By Just Transition?

Learn more about the Just Transition Act in Canada from The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in their paper Roadmap to a Just Transitions Act or their video: 

From this 350 Canada Townhall, with guests: Green Party Parliamentary Leader Elizabeth May and NDP Environment and Climate Change Critic Laurel Collins.

From Iron and Earth - a worker-led organization whose mission is to empower fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers to build and implement climate solutions. They commissioned a poll that shows that 88% of fossil fuel workers are interested in training and upskilling to transition to a net-zero economy: Just Transition for working people.  

From the Government of Canada's website: Just Transition.

Justice - Equity - Diversity - Inclusion

The JEDI-Accelerator committee formed from a need expressed by teams across the network to understand systemic racism and how it is manifested in the impacts of climate change as well as within the environmental movement itself. 

Look for resources to be added here as the committee works through its goals of raising awareness and knowledge within and outside the FOK network, supporting work led by BIPOC communities and organizations, and integrating JEDI principles, policies and practices into the ongoing structure and work of FOK.

Here's an introduction to the JEDI committee shared at the Feb. 27 team leaders' meeting. 

Interested in learning more and/or becoming involved with the committee? Email [email protected] or [email protected]

 

published Teamspace suggestions 2022-02-22 10:01:03 -0800

Teamspace suggestions

What would you like to see included in the Teamspace?

published For Our Kids Nova Scotia in Teams List 2022-02-22 05:44:02 -0800

For Our Kids Nova Scotia

We are a group of concerned parents, grandparents and allies of children in Nova Scotia who are working to drive urgent climate action. If you’re feeling like you want to do something about the climate crisis, but aren’t sure what, please join us!

Join our community on Facebook.

We have 3 principal areas for action:

  • CONNECT​ ​– c​reate accessible spaces for parents, grandparents and caregivers to connect in shared solidarity around the climate crisis and its impacts, learn about the climate emergency, and provide ways of taking action.

  • ADVOCATE ​– ​Advocate for climate action at all levels of government, and hold our elected officials accountable for their climate plans and promises.

  • AMPLIFY ​– ​Work to bring the campaigns, actions, and ideas of other organizations with shared goals to the forefront in civil society, industry, and government. 

published Teamspace 2022-02-22 04:57:38 -0800

Teamspace

Welcome to the landing site to access resources, share ideas, suggest actions, and hopefully more as we explore the possibilities of this Teamspace! Please share your comments about what could be added here

Team Leader resources

Local team newsletters

Regional Actions

Suggest an action

Apply for a small grant for your team

NationBuilder help

For Our Kids Slack Workspace

FOK's Goals for 2022

 

published Media 101 in Team Leader Resources 2022-02-22 04:45:11 -0800

Media 101

Along with social media, traditional media including newspapers, radio and TV offer great opportunities to reach others with your messages and actions.

Lots of people read the "Opinion" section in local papers and online, so letters to the editor and op-ed pieces are great ways to raise awareness and share your insight and opinion. Along with reaching other parents, sparking discussion and encouraging them to join you in meaningful action, you can also reach influencers by sharing your voice in a letter or op-ed, including elected officials. Commenting on letters and op-eds written by others gets you in the conversation. 

Sending a well-crafted media release is key to getting coverage for your events, along with making connections with local reporters and editors. 

Here's a checklist for you! It's compiled from the expert advice presented as part of FOK's Pitching and Placing session with Jennifer Moreau, former Burnaby Now reporter and founder of Babies for Climate Action New Westminster, and communications specialist Naomi Carniol of Springboard Communications Inc

Jennifer's presentation "Getting Your Story Out" is available here.  

And you can access Naomi's writing tips here.

published Team Leader Resources in Teamspace 2022-02-21 13:45:37 -0800

Resources for Team Leaders

Organizing Your Team
Posted by · June 23, 2022 11:44 AM · 1 reaction

Social Media 101
Posted by · April 20, 2022 11:27 AM · 1 reaction

New Team Leaders Quick Links
Posted by · April 20, 2022 10:56 AM · 1 reaction

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published New Team Leader Training 2022-02-21 13:45:15 -0800

New Team Leader Training

Training 1: Getting Started
Posted by · March 25, 2021 9:30 AM · 1 reaction

Training 2: Launch Party!
Posted by · March 24, 2021 9:59 AM · 1 reaction

Training 3: Building the Team
Posted by · March 23, 2021 10:25 AM · 1 reaction

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published Learn Together: Decolonization in Team Action Ideas 2022-02-08 11:16:39 -0800

Learn together: Decolonization

An integral part of our work for climate justice involves recognizing and respecting the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples. For Our Kids teams live, work, meet, and act in communities that exist on land taken from many Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island, whether through unfulfilled treaties or outright occupation of unceded territory. Acknowledging that First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples are the original stewards of the lands is a first step, but to challenge colonization we must move beyond land acknowledgements.

The next step is actively learning about Indigenous histories, cultures and the impacts of colonization. While also unlearning the skewed or fragmented histories about Canada we have been taught. 

We encourage you to do this learning collectively, either in a For Our Kids team or by creating a community group to learn with. Just as our collective actions will have a bigger impact, so will our collective learning. We'll benefit from each other's insights and ideas for action, and we'll have support as we learn more deeply about the atrocities of colonization.  

Here are some ideas to begin your learning. 

LEARN ABOUT THE LAND YOU'RE ON

Could your team or community group do research and learn together about the land you're on? Could you find out more about the traditional territories, languages, treaties, laws or agreements that govern those lands? Could you share learnings at regular meetings or dedicate special meeting times to focus on this learning? You can start your research here: native-land.ca, www.whose.land.

There's also these great toolkits and terms of reference from educational organization Mikana:

 

ONLINE COURSES

Here are options for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), which you can audit free of charge. You can enroll in these courses as a group and set-up a group-focused discussion forum online (i.e. on Slack channel, private Facebook group, email list) or organize discussion-focused meetings. 

  • Indigenous Canada: offered by The University of Alberta's Faculty of Native Studies, it explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. It's about 12 weeks of study, and a 2 hours commitment per week. You can audit these course free of charge. More info here
  • Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education: offered by The University of British Columbia's Faculty of Education. It explores how Indigenous histories, perspectives, worldviews, and approaches to learning can be made part of the work we do in classrooms, organizations, communities, and our everyday experiences in ways that are thoughtful and respectful. In this course, reconciliation emphasizes changing institutional structures, practices, and policies, as well as personal and professional ideologies to create environments that are committed to strengthening our relationships with Indigenous peoples. It's a 6-week course, 2–4 hours per week. More info here
  • Aboriginal Worldviews and Education: offered by the University of Toronto's Faculty of Education, this course is intended for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners. The course explores indigenous ways of knowing and how they can benefit all students. Topics include historical, social, and political issues in Aboriginal education; terminology; cultural, spiritual and philosophical themes in Aboriginal worldviews; and how Aboriginal worldviews can inform professional programs and practices, including but not limited to the field of education. More info here

 

READING GROUPS

Reading groups give us space to read at our own pace, and come together to reflect and discuss. Could your team organize a book club format to dive into deeper learning together? Here are some ideas of what you could read: 

  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Reports  

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's (TRC) mandate was to inform all Canadians about what happened in residential schools. As a network of parents and guardians, it's especially important that we understand the trauma experienced by Indigenous families. Including the recent confirmation that thousands of children were buried nearby residential schools in unmarked graves. Indigenous families are in pain, still grieving and fighting to bring their children home.

You can find the PDF versions of the TRC reports here.

There's also a reading challenge you can participate in here, a pledge to read the report's 94 Calls to Action. 

This video also shares the perspectives of a survivor and her daughter:  

 

  • Final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls 

The National Inquiry’s Final Report reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. The two volume report calls for transformative legal and social changes to resolve the crisis that has devastated Indigenous communities across the country. Find the report and more information here

You can also watch this video about the launch of the National Action plan: 

 

  • Decolonization: A Primer

The project Reading to Decolonize offers a template to host a reading group on their reading series called "What is Decolonization: A Primer". You can contact the project here and ask for more information.

 

Bring Electric School Buses To Your Community

We've just launched our new Electric School Bus Campaign!

Get involved and help bring electric school buses to your community. 

Together we can make these yellow buses go green - details here!

And sign-up here to stay in the loop of campaign news and info-sessions.  

Push Leaders to Sign Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

This global movement is making its way to municipalities across Canada, with parents involved at every step!

What is the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty? It's an international campaign calling on governments at every level to commit to phasing out fossil fuels and supporting a just transition. Here's a link to more info

    

Vancouver was the first city in the world to endorse the FFNPT, and now its neighbours in New Westminster, North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Burnaby have all joined. Toronto city council unanimously supported the treaty in summer 2021. They've joined cities across the US, Australia, the European Union, the UK and Costa Rica.

What can you do?

Encourage your municipality to endorse the NNPT. We can help! Sign up here and we'll follow up with you.

Join the FOK teams in Ottawa-Gatineau and Montréal, if you live close by, to help bring the motion forward to their city councils.  

Learn more here about the public health care case for endorsing the FFNPT. 

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty signup

The call for governments to negotiate and ratify a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is a global movement to stop expansion, phase out fossil fuels and ensure a global just transition for all.

It's based on the same concept as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty signed by world leaders more than 50 years ago. 

The three principles behind the treaty are:

Non-Proliferation: Prevent the proliferation of coal, oil and gas by ending all new exploration and production

Fair Phase-Out: Phase-out existing production of fossil fuels in line with the 1.5C global climate goal

Just Transition: Fast-track real solutions and a just transition for every worker, community and country

Interested in asking your local council to support a FFNPT?

Sign up here and we'll follow up with more info!

Sign up

Provincial election - Ontario June 2022

This space is for teams in Ontario to share resources and collaborate on actions leading up to Ontario's provincial election. If you're not able to access the documents shared to this page, contact [email protected]

The main strategy so far is to ask candidates a set of consistent questions, compile the responses, and share them publicly. Please let me know if you or your team is interested in this strategy, as we can provide the support.

Here are some suggested questions, along with information about finding local candidates and voting information. These are also being shared on FOK's public-facing page about the election: forourkids.ca/ontario_election2022

Please keep in mind that For Our Kids is a non-partisan network. We cannot endorse or denounce candidates or parties - we can only present the information we compile from legitimate sources.

Here are plenty more resources - these are also included in the public-facing page: