Reflections on our recent Undaunted Conference by Cathy Orlando

Reflections on our recent Undaunted Conference by Cathy Orlando

A special message from Cathy Orlando
CCL Canada’s National Director

CCL Canada’s Undaunted Conference in Ottawa from October 15 to 17, 2023, exceeded all my expectations. The stories shared by our CCL members about our remarkable organization empowered me to new levels. Vince Schutt’s expert facilitation guided us toward a clearer path forward, and the invaluable feedback from those present in the room was truly exceptional. The mist of uncertainty is gradually lifting, and my heart feels lighter.

From our keynote speakers, we affirmed that we can reduce GHGs, stay warm in the winter, and do so affordably.

Erika Beauchesne’s presentation “Taxes and the Path to a Green Economy,” is brimming with valuable insights on addressing the climate crisis and its economic aspects through no-brainer tax reform.  Canadians for Tax Fairness shares CCL Canada’s endorsement of a revenue-neutral carbon tax as a core component of their recommendations. In order to finance the necessary economic transformation, Canadians For Tax Fairness is advocating for a comprehensive overhaul of the tax system, which has remained largely unchanged since 1966, including proposals for Wealth Taxes and Capital Gains Taxes.

Christiana Guertin from the Canadian Climate Institute clearly demonstrated that “Heat Pumps Pay Off.” Embarrassingly, until recently, I did not realize that heat pumps also cool houses, which is crucial for Canadians as the planet heats up.

Although the conference focus was strategic planning, CCL volunteers also engaged in advocacy efforts by meeting with six Members of Parliament on Parliament Hill. On a personal note, I presented paper petitions to my two local MPs, Marc Serre and Viviane Lapointe, which they read in the House of Commons. The petitions were about Emissions Caps and Climate Aligned Finance, respectively.

Lastly, my daughter Sophia Mathur, Mark Taylor (CCL Calgary), and Anita Payne (CCL Perth) attended a rally against Suncor on Parliament Hill and a Natural Resources meeting where Suncor attempted to defend their atrocious track record. Afterward, Mark, Anita, and Sophia work-shopped Sophia’s first-hand account, and Sophia got it published.

Despite unexpected challenges, such as both keynote speakers falling ill and delivering their presentations remotely with scratchy throats, they were brilliant and our event’s focus on planning rather than lobbying shone through as intended. This was a testament to our adaptability and dedication.

Please, everyone, circle the date, book time off work, and join us June 2-4, 2024 in Ottawa. We are a community of committed and courageous people who love this planet. We would love for you to join us.

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 safeguarding the climate alongside the best volunteers on the planet, you can probably find her stargazing, dancing, reading books not about climate change, hanging out with her husband Sanjiv, and mothering her three cherished daughters.