Use Our Candidate Matching Tool to Bring Evidence to Environmental Decisions

One of the simplest, most powerful requests any environmental advocate can ever make of an elected representative is to fearlessly follow the evidence wherever it takes them.

For several years in Ottawa, scientists would joke bitterly about how an earlier federal focus on “evidence-based policy-making” had been replaced by “policy-based evidence-making”. You’ll get mixed reviews these days on where the federal government stands on that scale. But with some key provincial elections on the calendar for this year, the real opportunity to bring strong environmental advocates to elected office will unfold in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Quebec.

The first of those three votes, where GreenPAC is devoting the most time and resources, takes place in Ontario June 7. And later this month, once we’ve released our campaign endorsements, you’ll be just a couple of clicks away from a simple, effective tool to promote an evidence-based approach to government. Our Candidate Matching Tool is your key to finding the provincial candidate who best aligns with your own environmental and political values.

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Gearing Up for Our Next Campaign

With the Ontario provincial election coming up fast, GreenPAC is gearing up for one of its most ambitious campaigns ever.

As a small but mighty non-profit with a big, ambitious mandate, GreenPAC has the resources to participate in one election per year. This year, we’re focusing our attention on a province that has been at the forefront of many of the country’s biggest, most contentious environmental issues—from climate change and energy, to toxics pollution and public health, to endangered species and protected areas.

And as the province gets ready to go to the polls June 7, we’ll be doing what we always do: Identifying environmental leaders running for all the major parties, endorsing a select group of candidates across the political spectrum, and encouraging our supporters to donate money and time to help those candidates win.

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When Minister Heyman Met Dr. Weaver: How Environmental Leadership Changes the Conversation

There’s a strong strand of opinion in the wider environmental community that building a just, sustainable world is about more than the laws and decisions we make (though it’s certainly that, too). It’s also about how we listen and communicate, and how we treat each other, especially when we disagree.

It’s a great viewpoint. And it’s a far cry from the bombastic, misleading rhetoric that too often passes for policy debate in much of North America.

But in British Columbia late last month, we saw an interesting and important development: two GreenPAC endorsees, each holding a senior position in the same provincial government, talking across party lines to try to resolve their differences on an issue of crucial importance to the province, the country, and the world.

They didn’t get it settled in one conversation. The discussion will continue. But the tone so far has been...refreshingly constructive.

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In Case You Missed It: Why 2018 is the Year to Choose Hope

Earlier this month, GreenPAC Executive Director Sabrina Bowman sent out a recap video for 2017, chronicling our progress together last year and explaining why she’s choosing hope as her guidepost for 2018. Here it is again, in case you missed it.

I made my New Year’s resolution in December. No, it wasn't “clean the house more often” or “eat fewer cookies”.

Despite experiencing a year of much political inaction on the environment, when we’ve been overrun with bad news about the state of the planet, I resolved to choose hope.

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It’s Working: MPs’ Actions Show Impact of GreenPAC Endorsements

When GreenPAC formed in 2015, our fondest hope—and a key measure of our success—was that the elected officials we endorsed from all parties would actively promote strong environmental policies after they took office.

As the federal Parliament moves past the half-way point in its mandate, that leadership is beginning to hit critical mass. The country’s precious natural environment could be the big winner.

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Guilbeault : « Cette mobilisation citoyenne est très importante »

Équiterre est l’un des principaux organismes voués à la protection de l'environnement au Canada. Il s’agit de la concrétisation du rêve de jeunes universitaires passionnés d’environnement, à leur retour de la conférence de Rio il y a 25 ans. Nous avons interviewé l’un des cofondateurs, Steven Guilbeault, qui est maintenant porte-parole et directeur principal depuis 10 ans de cet organisme établi à Québec, Montréal et Ottawa et fort de 140 000 membres et sympathisants au Québec et aussi à l’extérieur de cette province.

Steven, qui a aussi travaillé pendant dix ans à Greenpeace, a toujours été près d’Équiterre. Il y consacre la majorité de son temps aux politiques publiques entourant la lutte contre les changements climatiques, les transports durables et les questions énergétiques. Il a notamment participé en 1995 à la première conférence des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques, la COP 1.

Équiterre a joué un rôle de premier plan dans l’adoption de la taxe sur le carbone et du premier Plan d’action du Québec pour la lutte contre les changements climatiques. Cet organisme est aussi membre fondateur de Switch, l’Alliance pour une économie verte au Québec.

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Interning at GreenPAC: Being a Part of Something ‘Grand and Successful’

Dana Rushak holds a B.A. in environmental studies from York University and is completing post-graduate work in international development and management at Toronto’s Humber College.

What aspects of your work for GreenPAC have had the greatest impact?

The biggest project I’ve assisted with so far was GreenPAC’s annual Breakfast on the Hill. I helped contact MPs beforehand and ran registration during the event. I played a fairly small part given the size of the event, but it felt rewarding to be a part of something so grand and so successful. GreenPAC’s unique niche for environmental politics combines my passions and my skills so perfectly that every task feels meaningful and exciting. I never thought I would have the opportunity to take so much ownership in such a dynamic organization.

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Interning at GreenPAC: A Hands-On Opportunity to Make a Difference

Tina Lee is pursuing a double major in environmental studies and economics, with a minor in environmental geography, at the University of Toronto. She’s been working as an intern at GreenPAC since September.

What aspects of your work with GreenPAC have had the greatest impact?

I’ve worked at other companies and organizations before, but given their size, working as an intern has not always been the most meaningful experience. For such a small organization with limited staffing and time, GreenPAC’s output is pretty impressive, and all the work we do directly contributes to the organization in some way.

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Canada’s Global Climate Leadership Depends on a Cross-Partisan Approach

This week and next, Climate Action Network-Canada (CAN-Rac) will be on the ground in Bonn, Germany, participating in the 23rd United Nations climate change conference (COP 23). The organization will be encouraging Canada’s official delegation to play a strong, constructive role in implementing the Paris Agreement. For CAN-Rac Executive Director Catherine Abreu, the success of that effort depends on political leadership across the political spectrum.

“The struggle to ensure that climate change is a non-partisan issue is so relevant to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,” she says. “We end up in these precarious positions where a change in government—south of the border, obviously, but we’ve seen it dramatically in Canada, as well— fundamentally shifts the roles countries play and the policies they bring to international climate agreements.”

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Parliament Hill Breakfast Shows Power of Cross-Party Environmental Leadership

There was a brief, shining moment in Ottawa last month that summed up everything we’ve been trying to achieve with GreenPAC since it got off the ground in 2015.

We began hosting an annual breakfast on Parliament Hill in 2016, and this year’s event took place October 19. The format and the setting supported what GreenPAC is trying to achieve in several ways: the breakfast spotlighted our endorsed candidates’ environmental achievements since they entered the House of Commons, brought the MPs together with many of our most active volunteers and supporters, and provided a venue to share ideas and successes.

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