1. We elected Trudeau because he made promises that he’s now on track to break.
“When Justin Trudeau was elected Prime Minister in October 2015, he promised real change: he promised a nation to nation relationship with Indigenous peoples and true reconciliation. He promised action on climate change, and to address the needs of young people.
If Trudeau approves the Kinder Morgan pipeline this December, he will break all of those promises.October 24th, I am joining young people from across Canada in Ottawa to call on Trudeau to reject the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
I’m taking action because I believe the promises this government has made are crucial to ensuring justice for people in Canada and around the world, and I won’t stand by and watch them go back on their word. I’m taking action because it’s my future on the line, and the Prime Minister will decide what he wants that future to look like. He needs to know that with the Kinder Morgan decision this December, the choice is clear: he can stand with youth calling for a better, more just future, or he can stand with the fossil fuel industry. We were the ones who elected a Trudeau majority — it’s time for them to look out for us. Remember, back in 2015 – 45% of people between the ages of 18-25 voted for Trudeau, an age group that time and time again rejects pipelines in favour of bold climate action.”
2. We’ve spent our entire lives watching our climate surpass tipping points while politicians consistently fail to take action.
“I grew up surrounded by talk of climate change, it was constantly in the media cycle or a conversation topic at the dinner table. It wasn’t hard to see that something needed to change. The strong and powerful women I met as I grew older showed me how. They demonstrated the power we hold when we organize and demand better, more, different.
I’ve spent the last 23 years watching as we passed tipping points and crossed red lines. As our governments continually fail to take any significant action on the climate crisis — too busy figuring out how to make a profit from exploiting the earth to save it. The science is clear: there is no time for half measures or compromising on Indigenous peoples’ rights. It is outrageous that we are still building LNG plants and pipelines. I will risk arrest on October 24th because while civil disobedience might be scary, I know I won’t be alone. I know First Nations communities and beautiful humans are putting their bodies on the line around the world to protect the land and water. I also know for a fact that when we fight, we win.”
3. We have proven, time and time again, that when we stand together, we have the power to move decision makers.
“I have always been conscious of my place on Earth and how much space I take up. I’ve tried to adopt more sustainable practices in my personal life but I feel constantly disappointed by the lack of institutional action. There was so much potential when the Liberals were elected last year but when it comes to climate change, they seem to say one thing but do another.
I’m ready for them to start taking real action. I am ready for our government to start listening — and I know that, as young people, we have the power to make some big changes.
As an organizer for Divest McGill, I am one of the thousands of students across Canada, and around the world, leading the fossil fuel divestment movement. Together, we’re organizing and mobilizing to divest banks, campuses and some of the largest institutions in the world. And we’ve had some big wins.This youth led movement is the fastest growing divestment movement in the world, and it has pushed some of the largest academic institutions in the world to cut their ties to the fossil fuel industry. Thanks to the work that youth and students have done, $3.4 trillion have been divested from the fossil fuel industry globally.”
4. There is no future for us with fossil fuels. We will do everything in our power to stand up against this industry.
“Climate 101 is not just about Kinder Morgan. It is an act of restlessness.
We are young, and we are weary. As we sit in classrooms across the country, we are learning about the injustices done to our Indigenous allies, and the undeniable science behind climate change. We are awake at night grappling with the repeated rejection by post-secondary institutions refusing to divest from fossil fuels, while grooming us to be cultivated citizens of the future.
The answer is simple and clear; there is no future for us with fossil fuels.
On October 24, I will risk arrest because I reject the politics of business-as-usual. I refuse to be represented by politicians that do not support my right to a future in a liveable world. Bodies have been strangled to death by toxic water in Shoal Lake 40, and murdered by unprecedented wildfires in Alberta. This blood is on the steps of Parliament. While broken promises have us disheartened, we will continue to stand unwavering.
We are resilient; we are powerful; and we will be heard. I say no to the theft of Indigenous land. I say no to climate injustice. I say no to Kinder Morgan.”
5. Despite a series of broken promises, we still have hope that this government can redeem itself.
“We were all so hopeful last autumn when Trudeau was elected. He promised us sunny ways, and real change. When Prime Minister Trudeau appointed himself as Minister of Youth, myself and many others were “cautiously optimistic.” Now, a year later, with weak climate targets, an even weaker carbon price, and the recent approval of a huge fracked gas export project in BC, we are less confident. Those same smiling faces, so eager to beam in selfies with us have lost quite a bit of our trust and our optimism. But there’s still time for redemption. Now, we’re all waiting in the wings to hear the Prime Minister’s verdict on Kinder Morgan, which, if we are to have any hope of a livable future, must be an emphatic rejection of the project, and any further tar sands infrastructure.
We are the generation who elected Trudeau, and we will be the ones to tell him that his actions have not been good enough. Op-Eds, blog posts and cheeky tweets (although powerful) are clearly being ignored by our political leaders — despite their promises to listen to us. On October 24th I will be among those young people in Ottawa choosing stand up, and proclaim that we will not tolerate inaction from those who profess to have our best interests at heart. We hope that they will finally hear us. And I hope to see you there.”
6. We’ve used every other platform available to us. And it hasn’t worked.
“I’ve been polite on climate for most of my life: I’ve gone to consultations, applied to government boards, spoken to politicians. At the end of the day, we aren’t changing fast enough. As a young person, that’s terrifying. They say climate change is the kids problem. We’re the kids. We could live through massive releases of frozen methane, surging of sea level rise, displacement, drought and so much more Earlier this year we lived through the largest coral reef die off in history. In fact, the only thing we probably won’t live through is a period of below-average temperatures. Our climate is too fragile, the timeline to go off fossil fuels too short. That’s why the core message of this action will be that climate leaders cannot build pipelines. My logic is very simple about this. It’s the logic of Harry Potter. The logic that a small loving band of young people, doing whatever it takes can defy the odds and win.”
It’s time for us to show Prime Minister Trudeau the strength of the youth climate justice movement. We are the ones who showed up in unprecedented numbers during the 2015 election to elect him. Now, it’s time for us to hold him accountable. If Trudeau is ready to live up to the promises he made when we elected him, he needs to reject the Kinder Morgan pipeline.