HAPPY HOLIDAYS CITIZEN CLIMATE LOBBYISTS
THE FOUNDING OF CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY
Citizens Climate Lobby was founded in 2007 by one man – Marshall Saunders. His vision has inspired many people and what we have achieved in such a short time is remarkable.
Since the 1990s, Marshall has funded and directed a micro-lending program for impoverished women in Mexico called Grameen de la Frontera, which is modeled after the highly-successful Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Marshall's was awarded the Grameen Foundation Humanitarian Award in 2009.
After seeing Al Gore’s documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," Marshall realized that the people he was working so hard to help stood to lose everything if civilization continues along its current path.Marshall was among the first 1,000 who were trained under Al Gore to lead presentations on climate change, speaking to thousands of people in one year. He soon realized, however, that there was a critical element missing in efforts to solve the problem – political will.
Having experienced first-hand the effective advocacy of RESULTS, an anti-poverty organization that boosted U.S. support for child survival funding by twenty-fold, Marshall set out to duplicate the RESULTS model and apply it to the thorny issue of climate change. That model is to train and empower citizen volunteers to speak effectively on the issues and develop relationships with members of Congress, the media, and other community leaders in ways that compel our government to take strong action.
There are now more than 150 active CCL groups in Canada and the U.S. and growing as well as CCL Chapters in Sweden and Bangladesh.
Marshall says, "The only revolution I want to be part of includes a lot of singing and dancing". If you join us, be assured that the Canadian arm of CCL has embraced Marshall's prime directive
THE GENESIS OF CANADA'S CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY'S
In June 2010, Cathy Orlando met Marshall Saunders at a Climate Reality Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.In September 2010, Cathy started the first chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby in Sudbury ON. Cathy feels she is helping the Harper government by joining a US based climate lobbying group because the Harper government has shown through their actions and in writing that they are intent on aligning Canada's climate policies with the US policies.
In November 2010, two more Ontario chapters were added, in Red Lake and Toronto founded by Christine Penner-Polle and Cheryl McNamara respectively. Christine, Cheryl and Cathy met in Facebook in a group that Dante Ryel founded to help create the political will for Bill C311: The Climate Change Accountability Act .
Bill C311 was first championed by MP Jack Layton and then MP Bruce Hyer, both of the New Democratic Party of Canada.
Bill C311 has the dubious distinction of being the only bill in Canada to ever be passed in the House of Commons (May 6, 2010) and be killed in the Senate with no debate or committee work (November 16, 2010).
A NATIONAL MANAGER FOR CANADA's CCL
In 2010, Celes Davar, a fellow Climate Reality Presenter, introduced Cathy to the organization Four Years Go. After watching the video below and much thought, Cathy made a commitment to do what she could to change the course of history between 2011 and 2015.
In September 2011, after receiving the blessing from her family, Cathy left her job as science outreach coordinatorat Laurentian University in Sudbury and took on the full-time role of National Manager ofCitizens Climate Lobby in Canada committed herself to building Canada's CCL for four years unwaged as we have no angel funder in Canada, yet. Mark Reynolds, the Executive Director of Citizens Climate Lobby accepted Cathy's offer to work as Canada's National Manager.
OUR FIRST MAJOR GROWTH SPURT – November 2011
By November 2011, there were CCL leaders in 10 ridings across Canada,from Halifax to Salt Springs Island. The new CCL leaders included Dante (Hamilton), Jan (Salt Spring Island), Tom (Don Valley East Toronto), Gerry (Nickel Belt), Terry (Vaudreuil-Soulanges), Joe (Sunshine Coast) and Joanne(Halifax). In fact Joanne emailed Cathy in Ottawa while Cathy was lobbying on Parliament Hill. Cathy was having difficulties securing an appointment with the NDP Environment Critic, Megan Leslie. MP Leslie is Joanne's MP. Joanne phoned her MPs office and secured an appointment for CCL with Ms Leslie.
OUR FIRST FORAY TO PARLIAMENT HILL – November 2011
In November 2011, Cathy Orlando and Jan Slakov (Salt Spring Island) went to Parliament Hill and lobbied 13 parliamentarians for a carbon tax – the one that James Hansen promotes – Carbon Fee and Dividend. While lobbying in Ottawa, Lyn Adamson from Toronto officially joined CCL.
On our first foray on Parliament Hill in November 2011, Jan Slakov (Salt Springs) and Cathy Orlando (Sudbury) lobbied NDP Environment Critic Megan Leslie for Carbon Fee and Dividend. Joanne Light at CCL Halifax helped us secure this meeting in November 2011 with some assistance from MP Thibeault (Sudbury) – Cathy's MP.
LOBBYING ON PARLIAMENT HILL in 2012
CCCL lobbied on Parliament Hill again in June 2012 with the Climate Action Network. This time six people lobbied on Parliament Hill. For the most part we lobbied under the Climate Action Network umbrella of three non-specific asks:
1) Put a price on carbon (not specified).
2) End tax incentives and subsidies to fossil fuels.
3) Create a pan-Canadian climate and energy strategy (not specified).
However, we did manage to sneak in some CCL lobbying on the side and lobbied specifically for Carbon Fee and Dividend. It was during a June 2012 lobbying session that MP Bruce Hyer indicated that he might want to champion the Carbon Fee and Dividend Act.
This picture above was taken pretty close to the moment when MP Hyer disclosed he was considering to champion the Carbon Fee and Dividend Act. From left to right in the picture are Lyn Adamson (Toronto), Tom Cullen (Toronto), MP Bruce Hyer, Mari Wesche (Pontiac and the National Capital Region) and Catherine Kiewning (Red Lake).
In this picture are: Stephen Berg (Winnipeg), Cathy Orlando (Sudbury), Lyn Adamson (Toronto), Mari Wesche (Pontiac and the National Capital Region) and Catherine Kiewning (Red Lake).
During our June 2012 lobbying blitz, CCCL was invited to introduce Parliamentarians to our grassroots organization and Carbon Fee and Dividend at a special symposium organized by the All Party Parliamentary Climate Caucus in Centre Block on Parliament Hill. Stephen Berg (Winnipeg) and Cathy Orlando (Sudbury) gave a memorable presentation that ended with the story of CCL advisor and former Congressman Bob Inglis– the Republican politician from South Carolina who championed a revenue neutral carbon tax bill in the US Congress and was defeated in the primaries by a Tea Partier.
Canada’s Citizens Climate Lobby went back to Parliament Hill again November 2012 with the Climate Action Network. This time there were 12 of us. By that time we had CCL leaders in 20 ridings in Canada.
EXPERT LOBBYING VS CITIZEN LOBBYING
We are grateful to the Climate Action Network for letting us piggy back on their lobbying days in Ottawa in 2012. By lobbying with the experts at the Climate Action Network we discovered a huge difference between citizen lobbying and expert lobbying. We knew intuitively, that CCL needed to lobby outside of Climate Action Network lobbying and decided it was time for us to have our own conference and lobbying days.
OUR OWN LOBBYING & CONFERENCE DAYS
In the fall of 2012, Canada’s CCL set a goal to have our own conference and lobbying days in November 2013. We fundraised and just completed CCCL’s first conference and lobbying days called THE TIME IS NOW – LE MOMENT EST VENU.
It was a smashing success. In November 2013, 36 of us lobbied on Parliament Hill for Carbon Fee and Dividend and had 26 face to face meetings with Parliamentarians as well as meetings with advisors to MPs Justin Trudeau (leader of the Liberal Party of Canada) and Elizabeth May (leader of the Green Party of Canada).
Lobbying by CCLers happened outside of Ottawa during November, too. CCL Halifax conducted four face-to-face meetings with MPs in November. Additionally, while we were in Ottawa lobbying, CCL Edmonton was lobbying the Alberta Liberal Party for Carbon Fee and Dividend at their policy convention.
Excitingly, history was made on the floor of the House of Commons when MP Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay – Superior North) said the following during Question Period at 2:55 pm on Tuesday, November 19, 2013. The video of MP Hyer calling for a Carbon Tax on the Floor of the House of Commons can be found here.
As of November 18, 2013 now have CCL chapters in 41 ridings in Canada, and six chapters in the "incubation” stage (there are series of steps one most go through to become a CCL chapter).
To see all of our pictures check out our conference photo album in Facebook.
A MARI USQUE AD MARE – IN THE MEDIA TOO
"A mari usque ad mare, Sea to Sea and D'un océan à l'autre" is Canada's National motto. The November CCCL conference was just the beginning of an incredible month of actions by Citizen Climate Lobbyists across Canada. Not only did CCLers from coast to coast attend our conference and lobby MPs from coast to coast we were published coast to coast in November.
In November CCLers published OpEds in the:
The Hill Times
The Red Lake Northern Sun
All these Op Eds were amazing. Shelba Deer's in the Manitoulin Expositor was historical in that it was the first OpEd written by a CCLer of First Nations ancestry. It is also from the heart and a good read.
We had letters to the editor published in the Montreal Gazette, Island Tides (Vancouver Islands), the Globe and Mail (TWICE), the Hamilton Spectator the National Post and Toronto Star too. And there was an article about us in the New Glasgow News (Nova Scotia).
In November, our volunteers had editorial meetings with the Globe and Mail and the Niagara Falls Review and we discussed pricing carbon through Carbon Fee and Dividend.
We will never know for sure if our meeting with the Globe and Mail inpired this editorial. Regardless we were quite please to read these headlines in the Globe and Mail on December, 10, 2013.
HELP CREATE THE POLITICAL WILL FOR A CARBON FEE AND DIVIDEND IN CANADA
We hope that by reading this newsletter, you come to understand the incredible amount of work and relationship building it has taken to create and sustain our organization.
We track everything in CRM Salesforce, as well as document our successes in Facebook and on our website for all the world to see.
We even have a Two Year Plan to create the political will for Carbon Fee and Dividend in Canada. This plan did not just drop out of the sky.
Running this kind of national organization and campaign with volunteers alone isn’t sustainable for much longer; for there to be the growth that we all hope for in CCCL, there needs to be paid support staff. CCL USA now has nine paid staff and are currently fundraising for six more paid staff.
We are non-partisan and Gandhian in our approach. We are for something not against something.
Specifically, money raised on Canada's fundraising drive will be used to cover expenses for our conference in November 2014 and then for salaries for paid staff at the National Office in Canada. Please note that our National Manager, Cathy Orlando, will continue to donate her time to running the day to day aspects of this organization as she has done for over two years now until the federal election 2015. It is her in kind donation to the organization.
Cathy also donates cash money and has paid for all of CCCL's office expenses (including all postage and photocoying, all phone costs, internet and rent for our national office) . To date Cathy has paid out of pocket her own travel to all conferences, lobbying in Ottawa in between conferences, all her lobbying at the World Bank and her travels to group start training sessions out of pocket (Buffalo, Hamilton, Toronto and Ottawa).
Cathy and the incredible team that rally beside her have shown themselves to be quite capable of running Canada's Citizens Climate Lobby. Cathy and her CCL Sudbury chapter ran four fundraisers starting in October 2012 and raised over $7500 to make sure we could conduct a conference in November 2013. Imagine what we could achieve with paid staff to support CCCL's work.
Please note we are not a charitable organization in Canada thus cannot tax receipts. CCL USA is currently acting as our fiscal agent and external auditor.
All money's donated from Canada go to Canada's Citizens Climate Lobby.