“We must meet the 2020 goals. We have to.”
This statement by MLA Raj Chouhan succinctly captures the message that high school students all across the province are trying to reinforce: that we simply cannot keep missing our emissions reduction targets.
On February 5th, fifteen students from six different Burnaby high schools met with the Burnaby-Edmonds MLA. As an elected representative and member of the opposition, he was completely supportive to our cause. He even showed us a letter that the opposition had sent to the government calling for more “oversight by independent bodies” for proposed energy projects in BC. At the end of the meeting, he signed our pledge, committing to the BC 2020 climate action targets.
Many students added their emails to an email list to stay updated on Mr. Chouhan’s efforts in the community. We are glad to be represented by an MLA who is open to meeting with youth and we hope that, in this current session of the BC legislature, the opposition will do all they can to curb operations that endanger our living environment.
Regardless of what political party they belong to, we hope that our elected representatives will choose to help us defend our future.
We were featured on the Burnaby Newsleader, a local newspaper: http://www.burnabynewsleader.com/news/245229021.html
On February 3rd, students gathered at the office of David Eby to discuss the NDP’s plan to achieve BC’s 2020 Greenhouse Gas Emission targets. Ten students from Point Grey (and beyond) met with David Eby, MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey, and Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for the West end—who, in typical form, showed up on a bicycle with rainbow-colored spokes.Read more
My sister and I stood anxiously outside the wooden door. 409. Ralph Sultan. It's not something I would usually do, go and visit my MLA to discuss climate change and our governments parts in it while simultaneously wearing my kilt slightly lopsided and my school tie a tad loose but then again, If I’m to make any difference whatsoever in the world of environmentalism I can't just stick to things I would usually do.
We knocked, but then let ourselves into the waiting room where we were told to wait. Not too long after we got asked our name, ages and grades and then we were ushered into Ralph Sultan's meeting room. It was a pleasant space to say the least, full of light and comfy furniture. We shook hands and after we settled in he asked us why were here today. I told him about Kids for Climate Action and what we're all about. He listened, nodding and processing the information. I handed him the meeting notes. He read through them and my sister and sat awkwardly in a moment of silence. "Alright" he said, smiling slightly "Fire away".
He did most of the talking, I asked some questions. He went on for a bit about Carbon emissions, and the carbon tax. I got the impression quite early on that he wasn't completely on board with the environmental movement and still had some doubts. Case and point, when I said at the beginning of the meeting "Mr. Sultan, as you'll soon find out I don't understand a lot about the world of politics, but I do understand that the world is at a tipping point.” He reposed “Well yes, that's what you and some people think". However I found through the course of our meeting he was very accommodating to our ideas and concepts and was very honest in that the BC government is far off from meeting 2020 goals, and the flaws in carbon trading and current methods of restricting carbon. "You know more about the goals than me and that's very telling,”he added. He had some ideas, stating that we should crack down on the transportation industry.
By the end of the meeting we were laughing, he was asking what we wanted to do when we grew up etc. I think that was a fantastic way to end the meeting as we left on a positive note. When we presented him the sign he said he would sign it as long as he could put "I will try my very hardest" instead of "will commit". He kept the sign and says he will hang it up in his office. Although it's not exactly what we came for, it's honest which in my opinion could measure as equal of greater than ambitious. I think he will most definitely think back to us when making decisions regarding the environment in the future. At the end I shook his hand and initiated a small very unprofessional hug (side note: never hug a politician ever, it's super awkward)
All in all, I think it was a small, but not fruitless success. I hope you all had a good meeting as well, and if not an eventful one!
In late October, two K4CA members, Sydney Emo and Sophie Yamauchi, posted an open letter against Canadian Geographic’s “Energy IQ” program; a curriculum based series of learning tools and activities for students grades 1 through 12.Read more
The biggest youth climate conference in the history of BC, Powershift, was held on Coast Salish territory in Victoria this October 4th.Read more