On November 1, I had the opportunity to take action with local Ottawa parents and grandparents outside the Sustainable Finance Forum. We showed up to tell policy makers attending the event that we want our financial system to align with our climate commitments and enshrine respect for Indigenous rights.
Despite the chilly weather, we had a great turnout and we were able to catch the attention of several politicians. Rosa Galvez, who introduced the Climate-Aligned Finance Act in the Senate, stopped by to thank us for our work. We even caught former Minister of Environment Catherine McKenna on her way into the session, and she tweeted a great photo with us.
After putting away our signs, I was able to head inside and take in the forum as an attendee. There were lots of interesting sessions, including everything from “Financing the circular economy” to “Affordable Housing: Breaking New Ground.”
One highlight for me was a conversation between popular scientist and climate communicator Katharine Hayhoe and Catherine McKenna called “Climate Science and the Cost of Inaction,” which offered a refreshingly frank perspective on the outsized political role Canada’s fossil fuel industry plays and how the ongoing expansion of oil and gas is incompatible with our own climate targets. It felt like an important discussion to be having in the presence of so many policymakers and experts who have the power to shape Canada’s response to the climate crisis.
During the final panel which included several MPs, our rally outside the forum was referenced appreciatively, with politicians acknowledging how families are facing the burdens of climate change and a cost of living crisis, and the government needs to do more to act in the best interest of people across the country.
In addition, I had the opportunity to attend a couple of Senate banking committee meetings as a member of the public. This Senate committee is tasked with studying the Climate-Aligned Finance Act, which was introduced by Senator Rosa Galvez in 2021. It’s an exciting bill that FOK has been following and supporting for over a year now. Two For Our Kids parents wrote a submission to the committee outlining why we’re so supportive of the bill, and how inaction on aligning finance with climate commitments would impact our kids and families in the future. At the senate meetings, I found out that our submission has been translated and shared with all the committee members. It was great to hear that the parent perspective will be read by all committee members, and hopefully taken to heart.
All in all, it was an interesting and inspiring few days of connecting with other grassroots groups and learning about how to push for climate-aligned finance for our future, our families and our communities. If you want to find out more about how you can get involved in pushing for climate-aligned finance, check out our Banking For Our Kids page.
And if you’re ever taking action in Ottawa and need a beautiful papier-mâché piggy bank, we got you covered!