Alyssa Taburiaux presenting the youth Parliamentary Petition on climate action to MP Richard Cannings in April. (Submitted)

West Kootenay youth present climate change petition to local MPs

Last spring the pair drafted a Parliamentary Petition asking for more action on global warming

Eighteen-year-olds Alyssa Taburiaux and Linn Murray are going into the new year with hope and a resolution to keep fighting climate change.

They know climate change is affecting them now and will impact their futures.

Last spring the pair drafted a Parliamentary Petition asking for more action on global warming and got busy collecting signatures. They have since asked both their MPs — Richard Cannings and Wayne Stetski — to present the petition in the House of Commons on several occasions.

“The idea for this petition came when we were in Ottawa lobbying for climate solutions last year,” said Murray, who graduated from LV Rogers Secondary in Nelson in June.

“We heard from MPs from all parties that climate change is an urgent issue. But many of them feel they aren’t hearing from enough Canadians to support the kind of bold actions that are required to seriously address the issue, and are tied down by partisanship.”

“We hope that this petition from our youth perspective will give them pause to reflect that this is an urgent issue that directly impacts our generation,” added Taburiaux. “Our actions or inactions today will be felt for generations.”

South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Cannings was extremely receptive to presenting the petition.

“I am happy to see more and more youth today engaging political leaders to act responsibly on climate change,” stated Cannings. “They understand what needs to be done to ensure a sustainable future, and the government would be wise to listen.”

Cannings has offered to present the petition multiple times as more signatures are gathered. He presented the petition in May and once again in October. In addition, Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski presented the petition to Parliament in September.

The petition calls on the House of Commons to support the future of young Canadians by fulfilling Canada’s obligations under the Paris Agreement. It states that youth are concerned that current actions of the federal government are failing to meet those commitments, leaving them with an uncertain future in which they can grow, survive, and thrive.

The young petitioners stress that “youth want jobs that are sustainable — not for short-term gain at the expense of future generations.”

Taburiaux and Murray have been very active members of their local Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) chapter. Their travel expenses to Ottawa were crowdfunded by many donations from CCLers and their local community.

Taburiaux, who attended Selkirk College in Castlegar this fall, enjoys her work as a climate advocate. She feels CCL’s approach is different “in the way it pushes for change by creating mutual understanding and finding common ground. It is about treating all people and opinions with respect, and empowering citizens to speak up and use their political and personal powers.”

“From my experience, the youth at CCL are highly informed, passionate, and skilled, and feel strongly that collaboration across party lines is the best way to tackle climate change,” says Murray, who is also studying at Selkirk College.

This locally generated youth petition asks for a detailed climate action strategy that includes science-based targets for greenhouse gas reduction with a plan to meet them. They also request a comprehensive and steadily rising national carbon price and elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, with redirection of investments into renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, low-carbon transportation, and job training.

A Parliamentary Petition is a means to have one’s voice heard in parliament, and the government is officially required to respond to its requests. Formatting and wording are extremely particular, and so Taburiaux and Murray are grateful for guidance from MP Richard Cannings office, as well as other members of the local CCL chapter.

With last summer’s epic smoke, wildfires, hurricanes and floods, people are waking up to the true risks of climate change. Taburaiux and Murray’s hope for the new year is that the greater public awareness is translated into effective policy.

This petition demonstrates to elected officials that youth, and those who care deeply about youth, expect our government to take climate action seriously.

For more information about the petition, go to canada.citizensclimatelobby.org.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Highway 3A reopened after mudslide cleared

A mudslide closed Highway 3A between Castlegar and Nelson just north of the Brilliant Dam on Wednesday.

New and expanding businesses abound around Castlegar

Fourteen vacant commercial spaces have been filled in recent months

Addressing the opioid crisis in Castlegar

Decriminalization is key to providing proper support for people who use drugs, a conference heard.

Castlegar shares draft 2018 budget

Property owners can expect to see a 3.5% property tax increase — about $39 for the typical home.

Localized flooding on Bloomer Creek

Castlegar’s Oglow subdivision experienced some flooding due to failure of a private culvert.

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision in last B.C. election

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

B.C.’s 2-year lobbying ban starts May 1

Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists can grant exemptions from the prohibition if public interest

Horgan speaks of government’s successes to ‘friends’ at CUPE BC convention

CUPE BC president Paul Faoro said was first time a B.C. premier addressed convention in some time

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

New funds, recruits set to alleviate B.C. sheriff shortage

The Government of British Columbia announced new sheriff graduates, funding for more classes

Most Read