Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada’s 2018 National Conference and Lobby Days

Climate change is a serious and non-partisan issue. Long term climate stability will require policy persistence through multiple election cycles. Thus, climate change must be treated as a bridge issue and not a wedge issue. This simple logic is the inspiration for our conference name.

Marshall Saunders, our founder, and president, had a vision to create an organization where people could be empowered to create positive change in our world. In 2007, he founded Citizens’ Climate Lobby. There are now over 100,000 members worldwide, including over 1100 Canadians. 

And many of our Canadian CCLers about to return again to Parliament Hill for our 5th national conference and the 13th time as a collective, lobbying for a liveable world.

It can be easy to despair about climate change, but the reality is that we are in a race to the top. The global tech market is worth over $1 trillion (CAD) and is on the cusp of a multi-trillion dollar cleantech revolution. With effective carbon pricing, we can create the political will to make this happen.

Our politicians truly need our help to secure a healthy climate and 21st-century jobs for future generations.

We hope you will join us October 13-16 in Ottawa to empower our politicians.

“The real problem of leadership is a failure of nerve. Leaders fail not because they lack information, skill, or technique, but because they lack the nerve and presence to stand firm in the midst of other people’s emotional anxiety and reactivity. ”
Bob Thune



The Details

Schedule Saturday to Tuesday


CCL LOBBY PREP DAY: Saturday, October 13, 2018, noon to 5:30 pm
Venue: 2nd Floor Marriott Residence Inn, 161 Laurier W, Ottawa, ON all Sir Guy Carlton room except where noted
11:30 am to 1:00 pm:
Registration, soft start, pick up lobbying assignments, Parachutes for the Planet meeting for those that participated
1:00  pm to 1:15 pm: Welcome, Opening, Orientation
1:15  pm to 2:00 pm:  Carbon Pricing Keynote #1
2:05 pm to 3:05 pm: Workshop #1 and #2 (depends on where you are at)
3:15 pm to 7:30 pm:  Techniques in Motivational Interviewing with a fifteen-minute break to grab some catered food

EDUCATIONAL DAY: Sunday, October 14, 2018, 10 am to 5:00 pm
Venue:   2nd Floor Marriott Residence Inn, 161 Laurier W, Ottawa, ON all Sir Guy Carlton room except where noted
9:30 am to 10:00 am:
10:00 am to 10:30 am: Welcome with musical opening and Storytelling
10:30 am to 11:15 am:  Carbon Pricing Keynote #2
11:15 pm to 11:30 am:  More music and storytelling
11:30 am to 12:15 pm:  Panel #1
12:15 pm to 1:30 pm: Lunch
1:30 pm to 2:00 pm: Carbon Pricing Keynote #3
2:00 pm to 2:15 pm: More music and storytelling
2:15 pm to 3:15 pm: Panel #2
3:30 pm to 4:00 pm: Guest
4:00 pm to 4:30 pm: 
Motivational Interviewing Revisited
4:30 pm to 5:00 pm: Closing comments with final music and storytelling
5:00 to 6:00 pm: Informal and optional sessions with your lobbying leads

LOBBYING Day 1, Parachutes for the Planet, and GROUP PHOTO: Monday, October 15,  2018, all day
Venue: Parliament Hill. Registered guests at Marriott Residence can use the 2nd floor of the hotel as a meeting area or even your suites for pre-lobbying preparation.

Arrive at 2:15 at the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill for a 2:30 SHARP GROUP PHOTO.

EVENING RECEPTION: Monday, October 15, 2018, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Venue: Sir Guy Room, 2nd Floor, Marriott Residence Inn, 161 Laurier W, Ottawa
Vegan tapas food will be served.

LOBBYING Day 2: Tuesday, October 16, 2018, all day
Venue: Parliament Hill. Registered guests at Marriott Residence can use the 2nd floor of the hotel as a meeting area or even your suites for pre-lobbying preparation.

For those of you who would like to receive updates on Facebook, we have set up an event page.

CONFERENCE BOOKLET: At the conference, please read the conference booklet cover to cover. Great care will be taken to making it as comprehensive as possible. Additionally, it makes a great “leave behind” when lobbying.


Conference Registration: Discount if you register before September 1.

Registration for our fifth annual conference is now open HERE.

Register before September 1, 2018 for $79.

Registration for Sunday only is $20.

Registration after September 1 is $100.

Registration closes October 1.

If you are CCL member or know a CCL member and would like to attend but the fees are prohibitive, please don’t be shy to ask for a discount but be sure to come because every registrant costs us money.

Registration fees will appear on your VISA as Karelo, not Citizens’ Climate Lobby. This is the sixth conference they have handled for us. Great service. We highly recommend them: secure, professional, and easy.


Keynotes and Guests






Keynote Speaker: Dr. David Maenz – “Climate Change Mitigation – The Costs of Action vs Inaction.” 

Dr. David Maenz received his Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan and held several academic positions prior co-founding MCN BioProducts in 2001. Dr. Maenz is the inventor or co-inventor of 7patents and is the author of 33 scientific papers and 2 book chapters. Dr. Maenz has retired from business interests and lives in Saskatoon. Dr.Maenz is the author of The Price of Carbon.

“Since the Paris Agreement in 2015, Canada has emerged on the world stage as a leader in carbon pricing. The Price of Carbon is a timely book full of important information for those seeking to understand the urgency of the climate crisis and the powerful solution of pricing carbon. Thank you David Maenz. The world needs carbon pricing. The world needs more Canada.”  – Mark Reynolds, Executive Director Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Vince Shutt, Enviromentum
Expertise: Behaviour Change, Mentoring and Coaching
Vince is an expert in Motivational Interviewing, and translating knowledge from the behavioural sciences into environmental programming. His focus is to build programming and to collaborate with other environmental groups and entrepreneurs to assist in the integration of evidence-based approaches to achieving pro-environmental behavioural outcome.






Sarah Mah – Youth Panelist 

Sarah M Mah is a third generation Canadian-born Chinese woman raised in Vancouver, BC. Her family was among the early Chinese immigrants levied the head tax in the late 1800’s, and also include those who left rural China in the 1950’s in search of a better life in Canada. Sarah has been working for the last few years on ending violence against women, first as a front-line anti-violence worker in a rape crisis centre and transition house, and currently as a member of the Asian Women for Equality. She was an active member of Asian Women when they served as an intervener in the Bedford v. Canada case, and coordinated numerous local public education events around the issue of prostitution, as well as racism, poverty, and sexual equality. In recent years, the organization has focused specifically on a Guaranteed Liveable Income as an avenue for women’s economic security, and will be organizing Asian Women for Equality’s second annual GLI conference in Montreal themed “Guaranteed Liveable Income and Sustainable Futures” October 16, 2018. She has endeavored to broaden public support for this policy approach as a key factor for women’s economic security and environmental sustainability. She has also been invited to speak at conferences and panels in Vancouver and across Canada, ranging from sexual violence to environmental justice. Formally trained in genetics and epidemiology, Sarah is currently a PhD candidate in Geography at McGill University.







Steve Lee – Youth Panelist
Steve Lee is a 25-year-old climate change activist, a policy advocate to the United Nations, and a global speaker. He is the Executive Director of FES (Foundation for Environmental Stewardship) and its 3% Project, which mobilizes 1,000,000 Canadian youth – that’s 3% of Canada – through 5 national tours across 600 schools. It provides youth-friendly and holistic education on climate change and empowers them to take action on solving climate change in their local communities today.
A prolific global speaker, Steve has represented the Canadian youth on the issues of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Youth Empowerment at over a dozen international forums including G8 Summit, NATO, Facebook, UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF, and World Bank.
Steve is a voice to the voiceless youth globally in policymaking and is currently serving as the Capacity Building Officer in the Secretariat of the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN-MGCY), the UN General Assembly-mandated space.He has moderated and drafted policy outcome documents, lobbied diplomats and businesses, and negotiated deliberations with UN officials, heads of state, and industry leaders.
Steve is personally trained by Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader, featured on news channels, blogs, and newspapers, and a University of Toronto graduate of Physiology and Human Biology.
Mollie Anderson – Youth Panelist
Mollie is a communications strategist with nearly a decade of experience talking to Canadians about the environment. Her work has covered numerous policy issues, including conservation, clean energy, and carbon pricing. She was the manager of communications for Canadians for Clean Prosperity, where she specialized in issues framing and grassroots engagement. Currently, she holds the title of National Director for Put A Price OnIt – Canada, an organization dedicated to educating young people across Canada’s campuses about carbon pricing.




Conference Musician – Angie Nussey 

Angie Nussey will argue that she is a storyteller first and a musician second, but her most recent release “Still Hope ” suggests otherwise. With its sweeping string arrangements and melodic lines, you might believe that Nussey is planning to move into a more orchestral style. But her lyrics always bring you back, pull you in, make you think, and inspire you to shine as she does.

Nussey grew up in the small town of Lively, Ontario where both parents dabbled in music and creativity. She learned to play piano at the age of 6 and she soon began writing and recording her own songs.

Angie Nussey is the kind of artist who leaves thank you notes. Her attitude towards life and other people has the appealing charm of a long lost friend. Her stage presence is disarming and although she maintains a wonderful degree of humility, she never fails to perform a world-class show. It has been said that “she wears her heart in her voice” and her voice rings with the ease of a warm shower.

Our Conference Facilitator
Gerry Labelle has moderated all of our National Conferences. He is one year older. Our event is on the territory of Omàmiwininìwag (Algonquin peoples, in the Algonquin language). He feels quite at home in Ottawa. Gerry is Algonquin.
Conference Director
Cathy  Orlando met Marshall Saunders in June 2010 and started the first Chapter of CCL in Canada in September of that year. She has been working as the National Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada since November 2011. She has directed all CCL Canada conferences.  Cathy works for Citizens’ Climate Lobby as the International Outreach Manager. As a volunteer, and alongside some of the best volunteers on the planet, she also directs CCL Canada.  When she’s not safeguarding the climate alongside the best volunteers on the planet, you can probably find her stargazing, dancing, reading books not about climate change, and spending precious time with her family.






Singer-Songwriter: Angie Nussey, a gifted singer-songwriter and story-teller, will weave music and story-telling through our conference.

Hotel and Accomodations

Our Saturday and Sunday conference venue, our conference hotel and Monday night reception venue is the Marriott Residence Inn, 161 Laurier Avenue West.

THE HOTEL LOCATION: There are many Marriott Hotels in Ottawa. Please note the location of the Marriott Residence Inn. It is near the corner of Elgin St and Laurier Ave. This Ottawa Marriott Residence Inn is close to Parliament Buildings and Ottawa City Hall.

Registration details coming soon.


Complimentary hot buffet breakfast served daily
RIMix Monday to Wednesday for complimentary light fares
Free hi-speed internet access in every suite
Complimentary local phone calls
Laundry facilities


(open 24 hours) with indoor swimming pool
Underground parking
On-site Tim Horton’s: Mon-Fri 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Sat-Sun 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM *
Marriott Rewards Program
And a great sitting area for pre-lobby sessions.

Studio, one and two bedroom suites with separate living areas with fully equipped kitchen and foldout couch.
At least 50% larger than standard hotel rooms
Working desks with ergonomic chairs
Voice mail
Electronic Key Card System

JAIL HOSTEL: Looking for the alternate CCL Hostel: The OTTAWA Jail Hostel is only a 15 minute walk to the hotel our conference venue:

Important Deadlines and Instructions

  1. Registration open June 6, 2018
  2. Thursday, September 28, 2018: Last day to book hotel room at Marriott Residence Inn.
  3. Monday, October 1, 2018: MP Bios to Any MP bios sent after that time may or may not be photocopied or formatted in time for the conference by us. You will be responsible.
  4. Monday, October 1, 2018: Conference registration closes.
  5. Monday, October 1, 2018: Please get us your lobbying appointments as soon as you get them to We will still accept lobbying appointments made after October 1 – even at the conference and lobbying days. We will make it work. However, they may or may not be included in the master list of lobbying appointments.
  6. Thursday,  October 4, 2018:  All photocopying will be sent to the printers.
  7. Thursday, October 4, 2018: special CCL call for conference registrants (optional) – time and place TBA.
  8. Friday, October 5 to Friday, October 12, 2018: Days of travel and rest for the conference team because we have other events to attend right before the conference such as CANrac’s ClimateCon at York University (October 10 and 11) as well as we are volunteers and have to earn a living. Thus, we will have limited contact via the internet and our workflow will be only what is absolutely necessary.
  9. At the conference, please read the conference booklet cover to cover. Great care will be taken to making it as comprehensive as possible. Additionally, it makes a great “leave behind” when lobbying.
  10. Thursday, October 19, post conference video call to share our stories. Time and place TBA.

WHERE TO SEND: Please lobbying appointments in proper format and MP bios to the email box for CCL Canada: .

NAME: The name of the MP, their Party and any special roles they may have in Parliament.
TIME: The day of the week, date and time
LOCATION: Including the building and address and room number if possible
STAFF CONTACT: The staff contact person and their contact information
CONSTITUENTS: Names of constituents (even if they are not attending the conference)
MEETING SCHEDULED BY: Who was the CCL scheduler
ALSO WANTS TO ATTEND: Who you would like to have lobby with you. Constituents in the MP’s riding will get top priority. There are no guarantees.

Lobbying Tool Kit


  • Photo ID is required to get into all buildings on Parliament Hill.
  • Allow at least 15 minutes to get through the airport-like security on Parliament Hill.
  • Don’t wear and bring anything that looks remotely political such as flags and CCL swag (Climate Lobby are trigger words it seems) because it may be put in storage while you lobby in the building and that will slow you down.
  • If your meeting is in Centre Block go through the “Business Door” on the left and not the “Tourist Door” on the right. We will review this at the conference.
  • If by chance you get invited to the Parliamentary Dining Hall, men must wear a tie in the Dining Hall.  No Jeans allowed.
  • At the conference dress comfortably but note lots of pictures will be taken and posted on the internet.
  • When lobbying please dress as if you were going to a job interview for a conservative workplace.  Please no jeans.
  • CONFERENCE BOOKLET: At the conference, please read the conference booklet cover to cover. Great care will be taken to making it as comprehensive as possible. Additionally, it makes a great “leave behind” when lobbying.


Map of Parliament Hill which will be included in your conference booklet

Map - Parliament Hill.fw

Lobbying resources.

  •  Oct2017 LeaveBehind-English-French   – this is our official ask of our MPs
  • CCCL 2017 The future is ours Conference booklet
  •  Getting started on lobbying your MP: A Word document that gives suggested dialogue to use when you phone and then email your MP to book an appointment while we are lobbying in Ottawa. Please only book appointments with your MP. If you are brand new to Citizens’ Climate Lobby and do not have a connection with your local CCL group, check with us to make sure someone has not already started booking the appointment.
  • Once you have secured an appointment send the following information to
    – The name of the MP, their Party and any special roles they may have in Parliament.
    – The day, date and time of the appointment
    – The location including the building and address and room number if possible
    – The staff contact person and their contact information
    – Who was the CCL scheduler
    – Names of constituents (even if they are not attending the conference)
    – Who you would like to have lobby with you (primarily constituents in the MP’s riding will get priority but other special circumstances may be considered. There are no guarantees)
  • MP bio outline: Update or create a bio for your MP and send it to by September 1.
  • Lobbying Minutes Form – includes tips on how to take good notes and a big reminder to take pictures and send them to us
  • Suggested Lobby Meeting Agenda – Ideas for how to conduct your meeting. This one we have been using since 2010
  • Lobby Meeting Checklist – Overview of agenda and suggested roles. New in 2017.
  • Our Legislative Proposal: Carbon Fee and Dividend in English and French – only two pages long
  • We All Own the Air – July 2015 Paper by Dr. Lars Osberg (Dalhousie) of why Carbon Fee and Dividend makes sense for Canada and chock full of valuable data and information
  • Check out the House of Commons Calendar to know when your MP will be in your riding to lobby.

For the super-wonky people:

Suggested visuals to bring when lobbying


Never Lobbied Before?

Never lobbied before? Don’t worry, we have been lobbying for carbon fee and dividend for over seven years in Canada. You will be officially trained on the Saturday with our proven methodology. By the end of the session on Saturday, you will begin to feel comfortable. And by the end of the educational day on Sunday, you will be empowered to speak for millions.

Canada potentially could lead the world out of the climate crisis and we just might be the change agents that helps catalyze the transformation the world so desperately needs.

We will send registered attendees a series of short emails after October 16 to orient everyone to the weekend.

At the conference, you are going to be hanging out with some of the most interesting, bravest and talented climate volunteers on the planet and we like to have fun. Getting out of our comfort zone is our modus operandi.

Canada now has a nationally-integrated carbon pricing policy. Most of our MP’s will be relieved to know that there is someone in her/his riding that supports a national and rising price on carbon pollution.

CONFERENCE BOOKLET: At the conference, please read the conference booklet cover to cover. Great care will be taken to making it as comprehensive as possible. Additionally, it makes a great “leave behind” when lobbying.

We have one over-arching rule: treat politicians with respect and admiration for their service.

Here are the key strategies we use.

The Final Lobbying Schedule

The Final Lobbying Schedule

After registration closes on October 1,  the Lobbying Schedule Committee will meet to finalize the lobbying schedule. Great care will go into balancing the following elements: putting constituents in the room, past lobbying participants, weighing the skills of the different people, giving everyone approximately the same number of appointments, considering the lobby-lead requests and avoiding schedule conflicts.

That all being said, we have to be nimble. About 15-20% of lobbying meetings change at the last minute because we lobby parliamentarians mostly face-to-face. Thus, it is especially critical you do not change your lobbying schedule on your own. Everyone will get their lobbying schedules on Saturday, October 13 at the conference.

 Reminder of the details

  •  Getting started on lobbying your MP: A Word document that gives suggested dialogue to use when you phone and then email your MP to book an appointment while we are lobbying in Ottawa. Please only book appointments with your MP. If you are brand new to Citizens’ Climate Lobby and do not have a connection with your local CCL group, check with us to make sure someone has not already started booking the appointment.
  • Once you have secured an appointment send the following information to
    – The name of the MP, their Party and any special roles they may have in Parliament.
    – The day, date and time of the appointment
    – The location including the building and address and room number if possible
    – The staff contact person and their contact information
    – Who was the CCL scheduler
    – Names of constituents (even if they are not attending the conference)
    – Who you would like to have lobby with you (primarily constituents in the MP’s riding will get priority but other special circumstances may be considered. There are no guarantees)

The Lobby Trap

Be careful of falling through the lobby trap door.

Inadvertently, subconsciously, unintentionally or sometimes quite deliberately, the following may happen when you lobby: someone in your lobbying group will start talking about all the other climate actions that need to be done to save the climate. Unless you have an hour to lobby the Parliamentarian, please focus on the lobbying ask that many CCLers from across Canada have created together:  CCCL October 2017 Leave Behind_ English _final

Ultimately, Canada, and the world needs:

  • The carbon price to rise predictably to at least $100-150 tonne by 2030.
  • For the carbon price to be as upstream as possible and thereby economy-wide.
  • Unprecedented cooperation between the federal government, provinces, and territories.
  • Border tax adjustments to level the playing field with countries that don’t have equivalent carbon prices.
  • An end to negative carbon pricing – also known as financial incentives to fossil fuel companies or fossil fuel subsidies.
  • For long-term viability, the carbon pricing policy has to be void of inducing cynism and must be as bullet-proof as possible against populist attacks. There has to be political will for the carbon pricing policy.
  • Most importantly, the carbon pricing must protect the poor and middle class.

The more focused we are, the higher probability of success.

Have no doubts, you will be speaking on behalf of millions of people.

About Citizens' Climate Lobby Canada

At Citizens’ Climate Lobby, we’re committed to building the political will for the climate solutions we all need. As empowered citizens, we talk with neighbors, friends, and local officials about how national climate action can help ensure a healthy future while strengthening the Canadian economy.

FullSizeRenderOur volunteers include high school students and concerned grandparents, a Canadian NASA rocket scientist living in Pasadena, healthcare workers from across Canada and many other walks of life. Some are Ph.D.’s who have spent careers researching the intricacies of climate change; others are concerned citizens who just want to know how to help. Whatever our backgrounds, we’re all united by a commitment to making our voices heard as we call for a healthy climate future.

CCL is a non-partisan international organization. Members of CCL’s International’s advisory board include: George P. Shultz, former US secretary of state; Dr. James Hansen, retired Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Canadian Climate Scientist at Texas Tech University; and others. CCL believes politicians don’t create political will, they respond to it.

Since 2010, CCL Canada has been lobbying parliamentarians for carbon fee and dividend.  In 2016, CCL Canada volunteers focused on recorded a total of 199 meetings with staffers, provincial parliamentarians, and federal parliamentarians.  In Canada, we have had well over 2000 letters to the editor, articles, editorials, and opinion pieces published in newspapers by or about us since 2010 – including 701 appearances on the editorial pages of newspapers since in 2017 and 17% of all print media hits worldwide in CCL.

CCL believes citizens who are well trained, organized by ridings and with a good system of support can influence the political process. Our volunteers want Canada to lead the fight to save the global climate, and they want to help politicians achieve this noble goal.

Our Core Values

What We Believe In

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. These core values guide our staff and volunteers along the way:


We are focused on what we see as the single most impactful solution to climate change — a national carbon fee. We know it will not solve the problem entirely, and appreciate the work that our friends in other groups are doing. So that we can be effective, we do not let ourselves get distracted by work that does not support our core purpose. After we accomplish our goal, we will tackle the next most impactful solution.


We believe that people are good and that democracy works. We are confident that our approach will work because we see progress. We stand for a solution, not in protest of other solutions. We don’t expect perfection from ourselves or others; this is a process and we know that people can improve. Together, we are a community that offers one another comfort, support, and fun as we work.


We take the most generous approach to other people as possible — appreciation, gratitude, and respect. We listen, we work to find common values, and we endeavor to understand our own biases. We are honest and firm. We know that there is a place for protest, but our approach is to build consensus — that’s what will bring enduring change. That’s why elected officials and their staff, no matter what their politics, say they are happy to see us — and mean it.


We are prepared and do our research. We are always on time for meetings. Our approach is thoughtful & thorough. We consult experts and use data. We are open to new information; in fact, we solicit opposing opinions. We refine our solutions to make them better. We follow up when we are asked. We keep on.

Personal Power

We use our voices to be heard. This simple act transforms us from spectators to engaged citizens, and it reveals the true nature of democracy to us. We are volunteer-driven — trusting volunteers to make important decisions and to create and develop things that will be valued by Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Being Non-Partisan

Our group is open to all who are serious about solving climate change. You are welcome no matter where you live, what you wear, what you do for a living, or who you voted for in the last election. We work with elected officials and community leaders from across the political spectrum because we believe that everyone is a potential ally.

Promotional Materials

For Non Canadians


A February 2016 Canadian survey found that 61 per cent of respondents believed the earth is getting warmer partly or mostly because of human activities.

A March 2017 poll found that nearly two-thirds of Canadians want the Liberal government to proceed with climate regulations, including carbon pricing, regardless of a new direction on the environment from U.S. President Donald Trump, a new Nanos Research poll says.

Thus the take home messages when lobbying Canadian politicians are that we don’t need to convince most Canadian politicians about the science of climate change (there is one MP in Canada we are unsure about) and most Canadian ridings (you might call them constituencies), with a few exceptions, are receptive to climate solutions. At this point, we are relationship building and working with our MPs to help make sure together we strengthen Canada’s climate policies one riding at a time.


OVERVIEW: The USA is a democratic republic whereas Canada is a constitutional monarchy. The President is the elected head of state in the USA. Queen Elizabeth II is our head of state and she is represented in Canada by our Governor General, David Johnson. Our head of state is also called “the Crown”. Canada has a bicameral system, just like the USA, with lower and upper houses.

EXECUTIVE BRANCH: In Canada, the political party with the most seats in the House of Commons forms the government and the leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister (PM). The executive branch of the Canadian government is led by the PM and he/she appoints senior Members of Parliament to the executive in a cabinet adhering to the principle of cabinet collective responsibility. The Privy Council is the non-partisan, public service support to the PM and Cabinet and its decision-making structures.


HOUSE OF COMMMONS: Our lower house is called the House of Commons and it is the Canadian equivalent of the US House of Representatives. Our federal representatives are elected in electoral districts which we call ridings. We have 338 electoral districts for 35 million people.  Our federal representatives are called Members of Parliament or MPs. Until 2009, governments could call an election at any time within five years of being elected. Since 2009, we have legislated set election dates every four years, unless there is a non-confidence vote in the House of Commons which defeats the government and forces an election. This usually happens when we have minority governments.


MINORITY GOVERNMENTS A minority government happens when the ruling party does not have a majority of the seats in Parliament. Currently, we have a majority government under the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau (and yes, we add “u’s” to a lot of words up here). These recent governments were all minority governments: 2004-2006, 2006-2008 and 2008-2011. Canada is predisposed to minority governments because we have three major political parties and compared to the USA, a significant Green Party which garners about 5% of the popular vote and a regional party: the Bloc Québécois which currently holds 10 seats. Like in the USA and Britain, Canadian MPs are among the last representatives elected using a first-past-the-post ballot which many Canadians hope will change to some form of proportional representation.

THE CANADIAN SENATE: The Canadian Senate, unlike in the USA, is not elected. It is an appointed senate. Most senators hold their seat until the mandatory age of retirement. There are three types of senators in Canada: Independents, Liberals and Conservatives. Currently, Independents and Liberals combined in the Senate are in a majority. The Canadian senate is undergoing a reformation currently. The Senate is divided equally amongst four geographic regions: 24 for Ontario, 24 for Quebec, 24 for the Maritimes (10 for Nova Scotia, 10 for New Brunswick, and four for Prince Edward Island), and 24 for the Western provinces (six each for Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta). Newfoundland and Labrador, which became a Canadian province in 1949, is represented by six senators. Further, Canada’s three territories—the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut—are allocated one senator each. An additional four or eight senators may be temporarily appointed by the governor general, provided the approval of the Queen is secured, and the four divisions are equally represented, thus putting the maximum possible number of senators at 113.

THE DOMINATE BRANCH: The House of Commons is the dominant branch of parliament with the Senate and the Crown rarely opposing its will. The Senate is meant to take a second sober look at bills before they pass into law. The Senate reviews legislation from a less partisan standpoint and the Governor General provides the necessary Royal Assent to make bills into law.

The Canadian Prime Minister in a majority government has powers that a US president could only dream of because she/he has complete control over the executive and the House of Commons for four years (we don’t have mid-term elections in Canada) and they are rarely opposed by the senate or the Governor General.

OPTIONAL: Not required but helpful videos and live training from CCL HQ

On the Saturday and Sunday of our conference, you will get plenty of training. These recommendations are 100% optional.

NEW TO CCL? Start by joining our weekly intro call. The Intro Call to CCL is held weekly on Wednesdays at 8pm ET5pm PT and it is a live call.  CLICK HERE TO JOIN

After the intro call, the next step for new CCL volunteers is Climate Advocate Training.

What: Facilitated by CCL Trainers, this webinar will not only teach you about Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s methods and visions but also inspire you to find your role so you can hit the ground running.

When: Offered two times a month (day session and an evening session).

  1. Day session is the 1st Wednesday of each month at 1:00 pm ET (adjust for your time zone).
  2. Evening session is the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 8:00 ET  (adjust for your time zone).

Day Session Registration

Evening Session Registration

By clicking “Register!” you are giving Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Citizens’ Climate Education permission to send you email including information about CCL/CCE and how you can volunteer and support our work. You can unsubscribe at any time by emailing gro.ybboletamilcsnezitic@ebircsbusnu.

Don’t have time for a live session but want to learn more?



Some may find watching or listening to these CCL USA lessons helpful too but again to remind you, it is not required.

OPTIONAL: Parachutes for the Planet

The power of art cannot be overstated, as it has the ability to open people’s hearts. Thus some of our volunteers are making Parachutes for the Planet for the conference. Even if you are not attending our conference we would love to display your parachute.


For instructions on how to start your Parachute for the Planet please go here:

Read a story about Parachutes for the Planet:

Canadians, for more information on the project please contact Laura at

Canadians, please send your parachutes by October 1 to:
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada
435 Notre Dame Ave, Lower Level
Sudbury ON, P3C 5K6

Or bring to CCL Canada’s National Conference and Lobbying Days.

**Please register your parachute here, and include a brief story about your parachute (25-300 words)**

For USA contact info and mailing address, go to this link.

CLICK HERE for a one-page description on how to make a parachute for the planet that you can share.

Students holding their parachute in Zambia! Wow, pretty powerful, wouldn’t you agree? Credits ™@Motherearthproject

OPTIONAL: Thursday, September 20 - CCL Canada Education with Kevin Taft


Kevin Taft author of Oil’s Deep State will be our guest on our Canadian CCL Education call
Thurs, Sept. 20
4 pm PT / 7 pm ET SHARP and note your time zone.
Please sign in five minutes early:
Zoom Room 3920795005,
Or dial in: 1 877.369.0926, meeting code: 3920 7950 05
Here’s a video that shows how Zoom works:

Please sign the doodler: Sign the doodler.

WHY ATTEND? This is an optional call but knowing how our democracy has been compromised by some players in the oil industry will help you in your work. Leave a question the Doodler by September 15 and read the book this summer.

Live Streaming Details

TBA if we can find someone to do it.

Note that we definitely will not be broadcasting the motivational interviewing techniques on the Saturday.