Canadians from all regions of the country are joining together to hold our elected officials accountable for the environment. With the prospect of a snap federal election on the horizon in 2021, we are launching Every Day Advocates, a program to empower Canadians to advocate for bold environmental leadership from elected officials.
The initiative will build off of 2019’s 100 Debates on the Environment, which inspired a nation-wide conversation about environmental leadership and accountability in federal politics. 100 Debates saw Canadians in an unprecedented 104 ridings across the country organize same-day, non-partisan, all-candidates debates on the environment that made it clear to candidates that the environment and climate change were top ballot box issues.
Every Day Advocates will continue to build this grassroots community-led movement started by 100 Debates, making sure participants have the training and tools they need to be effective advocates. Through meetings and town halls, Canadians in ridings across the country will let politicians, policymakers and elected officials know that environmental leadership matters if they expect to stay in office.
In a statement in Toronto, GreenPAC’s Executive Director, Sarah Van Exan, welcomed Canadians concerned about the health of our planet to get involved, noting that politicians need to hear more from ordinary Canadians, not just the lobbyists and activists, to know that there is broad support for bold leadership. She noted that one of the things that made 100 Debates unique was the network of Canadians who came together to make it clear the environment is an issue that cannot be ignored – high-school students, faith groups, physicians, business owners, retirees and more – many of whom had never organized before.
“Of the 411 candidates who participated in the 100 Debates, there are 87 MPs now in Ottawa who made commitments around the environment to their constituents. Elected officials need to know that Canadians in communities across the country are engaged, expect leadership and plan to hold them accountable.” Sarah Van Exan, GreenPAC Executive Director