Actions Put Climate Change on Agenda
of Federal Election
Montreal, September 8, 2021
Actions were held at noon in more than 64 communities across Canada on September 8 which brought together people from all walks of life, the majority being youth, to put the issue of climate change on the agenda for the federal election. The action was organized by the group 350.org under the slogan “Canada is Still on Fire.” The actions were organized in response to the snap elections called by the Liberal government and as “an opportunity to bring together as many groups, organizations, and local organizers as possible to demand real action on the climate emergency.”
The aim of the actions was two-fold:
1) to demand that the next federal government implement a moratorium on fossil fuel expansion including terminating existing expansion such as the Trans-Mountain Pipeline and
2) to develop and implement “an urgent and robust transition that leaves no one behind and moves us past fossil fuels.”
The depth of the political crisis regarding not only people’s concern about climate change, but for all matters of concern to Canadians, was evident when one speaker in Windsor asked all those who had confidence in Canada’s institutions to raise their hand, not one hand went up. It was an indication of how people — especially the youth who have concerns about their future — do not feel they are served by the democracy in Canada. The ruling elite undermine any discussion or actions which address the urgent need for renewal of the political system so the people are empowered as decision-makers, instead of always being on the outside looking in.
Under the cartel party system, the vast majority of people are relegated to acting as a pressure group, lobbying cartel parties over which they have no control, to act on their behalf. The youth find this not only a frustrating exercise but a useless one as well. In no way is this central problem of Canada’s democratic institutions solved by electors casting a ballot for candidates of the cartel parties who themselves, even if elected, have little or no say over what those electoral machines run by marketing firms, say and do. By speaking and acting in their own name about the conditions of their lives and their concerns, the youth know they take another step for their own empowerment.
All Out for Democratic Renewal!
The youth organizers for the action in Mississauga in the Greater Toronto Area noted “this is the first federal election taking place in the midst of a truly catastrophic climate emergency. Unprecedented wildfires, heatwaves, and floods are ravaging communities across the country. But media and politicians still aren’t acting like we are in an emergency…that’s why we are mobilizing to keep the climate crisis issue in the public eye during the elections.”
Everyone in the Mississauga action shared their experiences and concerns and affirmed the necessity of all concerned to work together in the fight to protect Mother Earth. This sentiment was also evident in other cities where the organizers pledged to continue to organize and mobilize on this important issue beyond the elections.