CCL Canada is Working Towards a National Carbon Price by 2017

From March 20-22, 2016, eleven Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) Canada volunteers attended a meeting and then lobbied on Parliament Hill. This is the 9th time as a group we have gathered in Ottawa to lobby since November 2011.

Please note that we are going back to Ottawa to lobby Sunday June 5th to Wednesday  June 8th. Details will be in our April 2016 CCL Canada Action sheets. It will be a much bigger event and all are welcome. Registration will open from May 1st to May 31st, 2016.

The world needs an incrementally increasing price on carbon pollution with border tax adjustments. Once we get the price right, we can focus on other ways of addressing the climate crisis. Canada could be the country that leads the way and our volunteers are creating the political will for a livable world one riding at a time.

Why did we go at this time? Because a group of CCL members from different chapters insisted that we needed to go to Parliament Hill before Earth Day, when Canada submits our climate plans to the United Nations. And it was a very good idea. This was time extremely well spent! Big thanks to the volunteers for this very fruitful idea.

What were some of the take home messages? There are Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats in Parliament that want a national price on carbon. (And obviously the Green Party of Canada does too). Additionally, CCL Canada’s work is recognized and appreciated. Politicians and their staff opened their doors and hearts to us.

Who did we meet with? MPs Randall Garrison (Esquimalt — Saanich — Sooke), the Honourable Michael Chong (Wellington —  Halton Hills), Marc Serré (Nickel Belt), Paul Lefebrve (Sudbury), Scott Reid (Lanark— Frontenac— Kingston) and Senator Mitchell (Edmonton)  as well as the  aides to Elizabeth May (leader of the Green Party of Canada) and the Honourable Bill Morneau (Canada’s Finance Minister). On February 16, 2016, a small group of us met with the carbon pricing staff at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Here are pictures and stories from that relationship-building meeting.

Canadians for Clean Prosperity

Gerry Labelle (Sudbury), Natty Urquizo (National Capital Region), Dr. Elaine Blacklock (Sudbury), Lyn Adamson (Toronto), Gord Cumming (Wellington-Halton Hills), Anita Payne (Perth), Matt Salkeld (National Capital Region), Mark Cameron ( Executive Director of Canadians for Clean Prosperity), Ron Moore (Wellington-Halton Hills), Cathy Lacroix (Toronto), Cathy Orlando (Sudbury).

The night before lobbying on Parliament Hill, Mark T. Cameron from Canadians for Clean Prosperity , spent almost two hours with us discussing carbon pricing and the work they have done with Conservatives politicians in Canada. Canadians for Clean Prosperity and CCL Canada share very complimentary niches in the environmental movement. There is synergy between us and we have worked together in the past.  Canadians for Clean Prosperity  joined us in Washington DC in June 2014 at the CCL International Conference. Previously, in October 2015, Tom Chervinksy, also from Canadians for Clean Prosperity ,  shared with us insights on how to build support across party lines which we applied the next day lobbying our provincial representatives in Toronto.

CCL Canada volunteers are creating the political will so that in Canada’s Budget 2017, we can start relying less on the “temporary” income taxes PM Robert Borden enacted in 1917 and more on pollution taxes. 2017 is also an auspicious year because it will be Canada’s “150th birthday” and 100 years since Vimy Ridge. Imagine all that we could celebrate in 2017!

The change that we need is far too big to come solely from the top down. The planet needs the grassroots to make the big changes. The politicians need our help. We empower citizens. And the CCL way of relationship building with politicians and creating political will one riding at a time is the way we do it.

 

Please also check out our photo album for this session of  lobbying days  in Facebook.

Cathy Orlando has put her words to work for the climate by getting letters and opinion pieces published in newspapers in every province in Canada. When she’s not working as the National Manager for Citizens' Climate Lobby Canada, you can probably find her stargazing, dancing, reading books not about climate change, hanging out with her husband Sanj or being a mother to her three cherished daughters.