FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2021
Contact: Amber Cowie, For Our Kids
VANCOUVER, LONDON, OTTAWA, TORONTO, MONTREAL—Celebrating Earth Day in 2021 is like attending the birthday party for someone who has been given ten years to live. It’s hard to enjoy the cake while ignoring the ticking clock. According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if emissions do not decline in the next decade, the consequences will be catastrophic.
Parents and grandparents of the For Our Kids network know that climate change is a terrifying reality that will affect the future for children across our country. This year, we are taking federal, municipal and financial leaders to task on climate change on Accountable Earth Day 2021 as Canada’s Climate Accountability Act (Bill C-12) is currently tabled in the House of Commons and recent reports lay bare the enormous investment major banks in Canada continue to make in the fossil fuel industry.
“Banks are major investors in fossil fuels – with Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion in the top ten globally – so they can be a force for major investment in the transition to a clean energy economy,” said Lella Blumer of the For Our Kids national network. “My voice alone might not bring that transition about, but if we act collectively, we can. So I’m encouraging parents to take the first step and talk or email their bank.”
In BC, parents and grandparents are working hard to ensure forests, oceans and land are not destroyed while leaders debate policy. Marian Hakze of For Our Kids North Shore is urging municipal and provincial leaders to protect the old growth forests in their region. In addition to hosting a Zoom panel of experts speaking about regenerative agriculture, the team will be unfurling two huge banners stating “Save Our Cedar and BC Old Growth” to remind Premier Horgan of his election commitment to save British Columbia’s remaining old growth forests.
“Forests are the life-blood of our communities,” said Marian Hakze of For Our Kids North Shore. “If we don’t protect the trees, we cannot protect our kids.”
Dr. Marianne Ariganello of For Our Kids Ottawa/Gatineau knows the next ten years are the most critical we have ever faced. As a result, her group will be working with Ecology Ottawa to publicly address the City’s lack of urgency on the second year anniversary of a Climate Emergency Declaration. Parents and children will create pop-up art displays around the city to bring attention to recent municipal decisions that do not align with a state of Climate Emergency.
“Climate action needs to come from all levels of government and contacting city councillors can be a great start for parents on their advocacy journey for a safe climate future for their kids, ” said Dr. Ariganello.
MD Moms 4 Healthy Recovery have created a video message to Prime Minister Trudeau in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. The physicians in this video are working amidst the challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, as healthcare professionals and as parents concerned for the future.
"Climate change remains the greatest threat to human health and its impacts are threatening our food, water, air and health,” said Dr. Sarah Sloan of MD Moms.
In Quebec, COVID-19 protocols and climate change action are occasionally at odds with each other. A disposable mask mandate in the province’s schools has resulted in excess waste. Natalie Caine of Pour Nos Enfants/For Our Kids Montreal will be collecting mask waste around schools and delivering a petition demanding greener solutions to Premier Legault.
“The climate crisis is already here, costing lives and impacting our health,” said Caine. “Parents, grandparents and guardians know it will only get worse for our kids and we are asking for greener and more just solutions from the COVID-19 pandemic from all levels of government.”
For Our Kids Toronto will be contacting elected officials to strengthen Canada’s newly proposed climate law and follow through on commitments to pull their money out of the five major banks and into a credit union that isn’t funding climate chaos. Brianne Whyte knows that the ravaging effects of COVID-19 currently sweeping the province will be nothing compared to the impact of unchecked climate change.
“So far, Canada has missed every single target it has ever set to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and we aren’t on track to meet our Paris commitment, either,” said Whyte. “If we want a liveable world for our children and grandchildren, we must ensure that Bill C-12 is much stronger with a 2030 target in line with climate science.”
If you would like further information on this topic, feel free to contact:
Amber Cowie, Communications For Our Kids [email protected] 604-364-3576
Lella Blumer, For Our Kids, [email protected] 519-932-0817
Marian Hakze, For Our Kids North Shore [email protected] 778-835-9179
Brianne Whyte, For Our Kids Toronto [email protected] 647-852-7699
Marianne Ariganello, For Our Kids Ottawa Gatineau/Parents for the Planet [email protected] 613.809.3941 (English only)
Natalie Caine, Pour Nos Enfants/For Our Kids Montreal [email protected] 514-554-0638
Dr. Sarah Sloan, MD Moms 4 Healthy Recovery, [email protected]
For Our Kids is a network of parents and grandparents in Canada fighting for a better world for our kids and grandkids. Our vision is a green, equitable, and just world where our children and grandchildren grow up safe and healthy.
For Our Kids North Shore is an active group working to address climate change in the community of North Vancouver and beyond. We meet regularly and are always looking for more parents (and grandparents) to get involved.
For Our Kids Ottawa Gatineau/Parents for the Planet is a community of parents, grandparents and families who have come together to tackle the climate emergency by participating in family-friendly activism activities.
For Our Kids Toronto is a group of parents, caregivers, and people who love kids, we connect with other parents and caregivers in the Greater Toronto Area to amplify accessible information & drive urgent climate action to reduce carbon emissions and develop climate resiliency to mitigate worst impacts. Our efforts are rooted in climate science & an intersectional climate justice approach.
MD Moms 4 Healthy Recovery is a Canada-wide network of physicians who are also mothers.
Pour Nos Enfants/For Our Kids Montreal is a group of families working together for climate justice in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal, Quebec). We are parents, grandparents, caregivers and kids organizing educational events and collective actions that are kid-collaborative. We hope to build a supportive community of families advocating for climate solutions and a just world for all.
Banking on Climate Chaos: Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2021 https://www.ran.org/bankingonclimatechaos2021/