ClimateFast has been very active at the provincial level. We participate in campaigns to elect MPPs who are climate champions. We have written letters and signed petitions to the Premier of Ontario and MPPs urging action on issues such as:
- stopping construction of Highway 413
- reversing of zoning variances that allow development in sensitive areas, particular wetlands
- expanding indigenous education in Ontario schools
- protesting the cancellation of the Cap and Trade Act
- prioritizing approvals for new development projects for those with renewable energy sources
According to the 2018 Environment Commissioner’s Report, Ontario subsidizes the fossil fuel industry with about $625 million a year and spends $11 billion importing fossil fuels. If we shift current fossil fuel subsidies to renewables we could supply 178,000 home energy audits and retrofits or 30,000 solar energy powered homes. According to the Clean Air Alliance, water power from Quebec is now available for as little as 2.2₵ a kilowatt.
Watch Sarah Buchanan of Environmental Defence explain how Ontario is failing on climate change.
2022 Provincial Election
ClimateFast is a non-partisan organization. During the election period we called on all the parties to act on climate, and urged our supporters to be actively involved in pro-climate campaigns.
In each of our newsletters during this period we asked readers to consider the importance of the June 2nd provincial election in moving climate action forward, and many people stepped up to join cooperative voting initiatives, work on campaigns for climate champions, and made sure to vote.
We offered a webcast on five climate election initiatives. These included Kitchen Table Climate Conversations (KTCC), Ontario Voters Coalition, GreenPAC debates, the Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign and Not One Seat.
ClimateFast’s KTCC initiative pivoted to encourage people to talk climate justice ahead of the election. We held two webcasts (1, 2), developed a provincial backgrounder and created conversation starter reels. Take a look at the blog series: Funds for Good, A Better Living, How to Live, An Everything Issue, Environmental Rule and Art and Antidotes and feel free to continue using these resources going forward!
Despite our best efforts we failed to make climate a major issue in the campaign. While we were disappointed with the election results, we didn't give up! We continue to look for opportunities to promote climate action at the provincial level.
People's Climate Policy
ClimateFast co-created the People's Climate Action Plan with Drawdown Toronto. On January 28, 2019, ClimateFast held a press conference at Queen's Park with Colleen Lynch speaking on the Peoples Climate Plan, Zoe Keary-Matzer speaking on FridaysforFuture, and Dr. Tomislav Svoboda speaking as a member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). The 15 minute video can be accessed here.
In the summer of 2018 ClimateFast initiated the VOCAL campaign - Voices of Ontarians for Climate Accountability and Leadership to push the provincial government to be carbon accountable. With the introduction of Bill 4 to cancel Cap and Trade without public consultation and the province planning to sue the Federal government over carbon pricing, ClimateFast needed to encourage action! The first action of our campaign was to urge deputations oppose Bill 4 - The Cancellation of Cap and Trade Act. The selling of emission credits from Cap and Trade raised $2.4 billion. Money raised was used fund energy efficiency upgrades of hospitals, schools, and homes, renewable energy projects, public transit upgrades and improvements and TransformTO, the City of Toronto Climate Action Strategy. We organized letter writing and demos held at Queen’s Park in August and October.
Our next action was to encourage submissions to the government for its ‘made in Ontario’ climate plan consultations due Nov 16th. We held a forum Nov 14th and many groups and individuals made submissions.
Now we are urging everyone to join a campaign for a real peoples climate plan for Ontario! Let’s get VOCAL for climate action!