Read the full letter from the students and youth involved with this action:
To our fellow students and youth:
It’s Climate 101 that meeting the commitments Canada made in Paris means keeping fossil fuels in the ground. That means rejecting the Kinder Morgan pipeline this December.
Justin Trudeau once said that “our future is the future of our young people.”
Building a tar sands pipeline is one of the greatest threats to that future.
That’s why we, along with dozens of other youth and students, are headed to Ottawa in late October to teach the Prime Minister the most basic lesson of climate science: climate leaders don’t build pipelines.
Tar sands expansion isn’t just a pressing danger for the climate, it violates Indigenous rights and steamrolls over communities.
Justin Trudeau promised to respect Indigenous rights, listen to communities and lead on climate action — he will fail to do all of this if he builds another tar sands pipeline.
So here’s our plan.
On October 24th, throngs of young people from all over the country will converge in Ottawa for a march and civil disobedience action.
Emboldened by our passion, our hope and our frustration with politics-as-usual, we will partake in an unprecedented action to call on the Prime Minister and self-appointed Minister of Youth, to reject Kinder Morgan and commit to move away from pipelines and fossil fuels towards clean, renewable and just energy policy.
We are taking this action because we know that during the 2015 election, young people turned out in unprecedented numbers. We know that youth turnout helped to elect Prime Minister Trudeau, and we know that young people across Canada want to see real climate action and respect for Indigenous rights — not more pipeline politics.
We are young, awaiting a future fraught with uncertainty. This will not deter us from participating in an act of civil disobedience. Indeed it has compelled us to organize one.
We may inherit the impacts of climate change and fossil fuel expansion here in Canada, but around the world people are already feeling those impacts, losing their homes and losing their lives.
It’s time for real leadership on climate, it’s time to move past pipelines. We hope you will join us.
Amanda Harvey-Sanchez (University of Toronto ‘18) Gabriel D’Astous (University of British Columbia ‘15) Sophie Birks (McGill University) Bilan Arte (Canadian Federation of Students President, University of Manitoba ’14) Anne-Marie Roy (Canadian Federation of Students VP, University of Ottawa ‘14) Laura Cutmore (Dalhousie University ‘18) Megan Bowers (University of Ottawa ‘16) Jed Lenetsky (McGill University ‘18) Kevin Settee (University of Winnipeg ‘17) Mitchell van Ineveld (University of Winnipeg ‘19) Tina Yeonju Oh (Mount Allison University ‘18) Sadie Phoenix-Lavoie (University of Winnipeg ‘17) Kiki Wood (Director of Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, University of King’s College ‘12) Kristen Perry (McGill University ‘16)
Le 24 octobre, des jeunes provenant de partout au Canada se rassembleront à Ottawa pour dire au premier ministre Justin Trudeau qu’il ne peut pas être sérieux dans ses engagements sur le climat tout en appuyant la construction de nouveaux pipelines exportant le pétrole des sables bitumineux.
Over our years working on climate change, we’ve seen youth on Parliament Hill, in the streets of cities across Canada, in the halls of United Nations climate talks, and on campuses across this country organizing for fossil fuel divestment. We’ve heard them loud and clear: it’s time for real climate leadership, and that starts with rejecting the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
On October 24th, young people from across the country will take part in the “Climate 101’ action calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to reject the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Together, they will engage in a mass civil disobedience action in Ottawa to teach Trudeau (who self appointed himself Minister of Youth) the most basic lesson of climate science: climate leaders don’t build pipelines.
My generation is far from being apolitical, and even farther from being apathetic. The problem isn’t that we don’t speak up or show up. The problem seems to be that the politicians who ask us to do so haven’t heard what we have been saying all this time.
To Prime Minister Trudeau, our wannabe climate leader I say: you need to do better. Like a teacher with a pupil, the youth who elected you see your potential. We see your potential, and we are disappointed by your results. Also like teachers, we will take the time to patiently explain to you what you must do in order to pass this all important test. A test which, if you pass, will see this nation, and your government on the right side of history. On October 24th, youth from across this land will gather in Ottawa to help you understand what true climate leadership is. I’ll be one of them.