What did you do during Federal Environment week? From June 5 to June 8, 2016, thirty-one Citizens’ Climate Lobbyists (CCL) from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, California and Vermont traveled to Ottawa and lobbied on Parliament Hill for a revenue neutral carbon tax. This is the tenth time we have lobbied on Parliament Hill together since November 2011.
On Sunday June 5, Sudbury economist Dr. David Robinson’s gave us ample proof that Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) has been right all along: the efficient way to cut GHG emissions is with a revenue neutral carbon tax and not cap and trade. Then via the internet, Dr. Renee Lertzman shared an evidence-based presentation on why the CCL methodology of compassion and relationship building works. It included an activity that helped us develop deep empathy for the politicians we were about to lobby. The last presentation of the conference was from actuary Caterina Lindman (CCL Waterloo). She shared her thought provoking journey and statistics about going vegan over the past year with an audience of mostly omnivores.
Over the next two and half days, we lobbied face-to-face 36 Members of Parliament (MP) including: 21 Liberals, 9 Conservatives (+2 aides), 5 New Democrats and 1 Green.
On Tuesday, we cohosted a reception with MP Paul Lefebvre: 14 politicians, including the Speaker of the House (the Honourable Geoff Regan, Halifax) and five aides to MPs attended the reception. This was our fourth reception on the Hill and the first time we co-hosted an event on the Hill where both the New Democrats and Liberal MPs attended. Sudbury’s MP Paul Lefebvre also spoke about Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Sudbury’s environmental leadership in the House of Commons on June 7, 2016.
CCL’s founder and President, Marshall Saunders sent us a message: “When I started CCL in 2007 I did so because I believed the US passing legislation was important not just for the US but for the rest of the world. What we are seeing happen in Canada will very likely become part of the motivation that gets the United States to finally act. Thank you, Canada. ”
In 2017, Canada will have a price on carbon. Will Canada have a climate policy that finally shifts the economy? We don’t know for sure be we do know that by officially documenting our great facts on the government website and building political will across Canada one riding at a time, we can give the government the courage to do the right thing and we can hold their feet to fire if they fail us.
Together we might make 2017 a year where not only celebrate Canada’s 150th and 100 years since Vimy Ridge but also when we finally start shifting some of PM Borden’s “temporary income tax of 1917” towards pollution taxes.