On October 24th constituents in over two-thirds of Canada’s 338 federal ridings delivered copies of the IPCC report to their MPs with letters calling for follow-through on their promises to take the action needed to stay under 1.5ºC.
We are a year out from the 2019 federal election and have not yet seen the climate action the Trudeau government promised. If our political leaders are going to take the steps toward a fair transition towards renewable energy on the timeline climate science calls for, it will be because we make the movement for climate justice impossible to ignore! We have lots of thoughts on how to do this, and summarized them here earlier this month.
There’s no simple recipe, but some of the key steps are relentless pressure on people in power and building relationships with others ready to take action at the local level. Last weeks’ day of action accomplished both of these. Council of Canadians chapters, 350 Canada, families, campus divestment groups, scientists, youth, grandparents, and many others in more than 250 ridings in showed up at their MPs’ doors to demand action.
We called for politicians to strengthen Canada's international climate commitments, stop fossil fuel expansion, commit to a just transition to a 100% renewable energy economy, and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Groups also got more specific in their asks, like recommending Delivering Community Power, a bold plan from the Canadian Union of Postal workers to aid rapid transition to renewables, and calling for more funding for community-owned renewable projects. Many of us who visited have scheduled follow-up meetings with their MPs once out of Parliament and back in their constituencies in mid-November.
Below are some of the deliveries of the IPCC report Council of Canadians chapters took part in! In many places, groups were told multiple deliveries had already taken place that day, with an estimated 1000 deliveries in total.
Saint John, NB
Delivery to Liberal MP Wayne Long.
The Montreal chapter and 350 Canada teamed up to visit Liberal MPs Marc Garneau and Marc Miller, while other groups headed to Justin Trudeau's office!
A Council of Canadians’ supporter delivered the report and a letter to Liberal MP Steven MacKinnon.
Delivery to Ottawa Centre MP and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna.
The delivery to Liberal Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef was led by the Peterborough Alliance on Climate Action and accompanied by a rally, receiving written and video coverage from Global News and the Peterborough Examiner.
Activists from Hamilton 350 Committee and the Hamilton Chapter of the Council of Canadians made deliveries to Liberal MP Filomena Tassi and NDP MP David Christopherson.
Students from Fossil Free Guelph spearheaded this giant delivery and along with other community groups they marched from City Hall to the constituency office of Lloyd Longfield, Guelph's MP to make their delivery.
The London Chapter made deliveries to Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos, Conservative Karen Vecchio, and NDP Irene Mathyssen.
Thunder Bay, ON
The Thunder Bay delegation to NDP MP Patty Hajdu. The participants stated, "Patty's assistant was delighted to hear support for a progressive carbon tax and more, especially because Ontario Premier Doug Ford was in town promoting the opposite."
Jim Elliott of the Regina Chapter delivered the IPCC report and some supplementary reading in three ridings, to three parties, "with three very different responses". He visited Liberal MP Ralph Goodale, Conservative Andrew Scheer, and NDP Erin Weir.
In Saskatoon, the Council of Canadians chapter made deliveries to three different MPs’ offices
Delivery to Liberal MP for Northwest Territories, Michael McLeod.
Red Deer, AB
Delivery to Conservative MP Red Deer -- Mountain View Earl Dreeshen.
The Chilliwack Chapter of the Council of Canadians made a delivery to Conservative MP for Chilliwack-Hope, Mark Strahl.
As put by Suzy Coulter and David Burdge, "We were informed he did not bother to attend the emergency debate. We expressed our extreme disappointment to his constituency assistant that that he did not even bother to attend the emergency debate in the House of Commons on the most important issue facing all of humanity!"
North Island — Powell River, BC
The Powell River and Campbell River chapters, along with 350 Canada and Sierra Club BC - Quadra Island chapter made deliveries to Rachel Blaney, NDP MP for North Island—Powell River, and NDP MLA Claire Trevena. You can watch coverage of this at the Campbell River Mirror.
In Kelowna, our chapter made deliveries to Conservative MP Dan Albas and Liberal Stephen Fuhr.
Delivery to Liberal MP Carla Qualtrough.
If you missed the day of action you can still send a message to your MP via 350 Canada’s site here, or of course still visit them in person too. If you do, send us a note about how it goes! You can also follow the action on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #1point5Ca.