On Monday night, the City of Kitchener bravely followed in the footsteps of 42 other municipalities across the country and declared a climate emergency.
Words can be powerful. ‘Climate emergency’ is the appropriate term, and Council chambers were packed with people, many of whom have tirelessly advocated for our municipal representatives to get these words right. It was a significant milestone, building on years of progress the City has made on climate action, linked with a referral back to staff to explore a community-wide carbon budget.
Many on Council, delegations and those in the galleries, spoke of what needs to follow, to further align their words with their actions.
It’s time our federal government reflected, and acted, on the same.
They too declared a climate emergency, on June 17, though no policy changes were directly connected with the declaration. And the very next day, they re-approved a pipeline, committing billions of dollars of public money to infrastructure destined to worsen this very same emergency.
We can do better than this. Moments like this are exactly why I’m seeking to represent Kitchener Centre in Ottawa.
Because we know that words are never enough - and even more so at a time when scientists, economists, Indigenous leaders and young people are all telling us what a pivotal, urgent moment we are living in.
It’s time we act decisively, together. For example, by moving forward with a Green New Deal for Canada: an economic mobilization that matches the scale of the challenge we face. This could include a mix of 20 items that are in the Green Party of Canada’s science-based climate action plan, Mission:Possible - including stringent climate targets, greening the grid, a national building retrofit, ending fossil fuel subsidies, and providing a guaranteed livable income for all.
This is a level of ambition that mirrors the emergency we find ourselves in, and one we need to bring to Ottawa.
This is why we’ve been building a winnable campaign across Kitchener Centre for the past five months.
And while a team of almost 100 people have already knocked on over 6,000 doors, we’ll need to up the pace: our goal is to knock on all 45,000 doors in Kitchener Centre. Twice.
To do it, we’ll need the hundreds of people that filled Council chambers to join us in hitting the streets.
Will you join us? If so, please let us know here: www.morrice2019.ca/join
Together, we won’t just get the words right. We’ll get the actions right too.
For more information about Kitchener council’s decision to declare a climate emergency, The Record published an article, found here.