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

Just Posted

Kootenay town was the hot spot in all of Canada on Monday

The temperature hit 38.8 C at the Warfield weather station on July 16, setting a new daily record

Who will fill the Greyhound void in the Kootenays?

Minister Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West sees opportunity for local operators

COLUMN: Slow and steady to huckleberry glory

Easy pickings with Gord Turner

Bounty on West Kootenay northern pike

$10 a head reward for northern pike caught in Columbia, Kootenay and Pend d’ Oreille Rivers.

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Most Read