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GreenPAC is a small organization with a big aim - to make sure the environment is a driving force in Canadian politics. Looking back on the past year gave us pause to reflect on our history and how we arrived at FY22: a big year with a lot of firsts.
We were founded in 2015 with the goal of electing proven environmental leaders across parties so they can make change for the environment. With the continued belief that leadership in politics is the key to the kind of action our planet requires, we have worked ever since to broaden our tactics and angles for building and driving that leadership.
In 2018, we introduced our Parliamentary Internship for the Environment (PIE) to develop the political know-how and skills of a new generation of politically-savvy environmental changemakers.
In 2019, together with Équiterre and grassroots groups across Canada, we coordinated more than 100 all-candidates Debates on the Environment to make it clear that voters expect environmental leadership from those seeking office.
In 2021, we introduced our Every Day Advocates program to build the advocacy skills of Canadians so they can hold political leaders accountable for their environmental commitments.
And, in FY22, we took a deep breath and put all those tactics together.
We expanded our PIE program from 4 to 7 youth leaders, introduced two specialized streams in areas of critical importance to Canada’s net zero transition - sustainable agriculture and clean economy - and made our first placement in the Upper Chamber, supporting the launch of the Senators for Climate Solutions group.
For the first time, we organized around our first snap election and two election campaigns in a single year, endorsing and driving support for environmental champions seeking office and coordinating all-candidates debates on the environment in both the September federal election and later the June Ontario provincial election.
Throughout the year, we also offered regular training and events and released our first political research report with the aim to build political knowledge among grassroots advocates and others looking for environmental progress through politics.
Let’s face it - between Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, continued pandemic, convoy blockades, and crises in health care, mental health and housing, FY22 was not the easiest year to be trying to inspire leadership for the environment. It’s for this reason that we couldn’t be more grateful to the volunteers, youth leaders, grassroots advocates, donors, grantors, supporters, staff and Board members, and everyone else who got involved in our work and pushed for cross-party leadership and a different kind of politics.
We all know political leadership doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It grows on the foundation of science, data, ideas and collaboration across sectors. It is validated through diversity and inclusive policymaking, strengthened by youth voices and multiplied through collaboration. It is advanced at the insistence of advocates and is rewarded by voters. And so we look forward to the year ahead with continued energy and excitement to keep working with you to build that leadership and put the wellbeing of our planet front and centre in Canadian politics.
*Note that this annual report makes a switch in our reporting to match our fiscal year.
THANK YOU MARGO
Before concluding this note, we'd both like to thank Margo Welch, who served as Chair of GreenPAC's board of directors from 2019 to mid-2022. Through these years of growth and change, we benefitted enormously from Margo's commitment to our vision, strong and enthusiastic leadership, and never-diminished good humour. Margo continues to serve as a member of the Board.