Our Meeting with Gordon Hogg, Surrey-White Rock

This wednesday April 8th, students from elementary school to university went to meet with Gordon Hogg, MLA of Surrey-White Rock. It was a sunny day, and he was quite happy that some students came to meet with him.

We explained that thermal coal port expansions at Fraser Surrey Docks and Texada Island will contribute to climate change and are not in BC’s best interest.

Mr. Hogg explained that he agreed that this shipping of US thermal coal would not help BC much and that we take a lot of the risk. He wrote a letter to Port Metro Vancouver and Fraser Surrey Docks urging them to conduct a full health impact assessment. The trains will pass through our communities of White Rock and Crescent Beach so a number of people have come and spoken to him about this issue already. He also said that the Texada Island project is currently tied up in courts and hopefully will be for some time. However, when we asked him to sign the pledge to stopping new thermal coal exports he declined.

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Meeting with Moria Stilwell

Five weeks ago today, Alice, Mandy, and myself, Emily, three BC high school students in the Langara riding, sent a message to our MLA, asking to meet with her to discuss the Fraser-Surrey coal dock expansions. Weeks of preparation later, we’re sitting in Moira Stilwell’s meeting room, accompanied by Alice’s friend, Jay, our designated photographer and fellow environmentalist. Today is April 8th, the day of Defend Our Future, a provincial day of action where teens all over BC are rallying to stop the new coal exports.

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The Best, Worst, and Strangest of our Government's Plan for Climate Change

By Zoe Craig, Sam Harrison, and Jacqueline Shen

“We must meet the 2020 [greenhouse gas emissions] targets. We have to.” said Raj Chouhan, an NDP MLA, in February 2014 in a meeting with a group of high school students demanding action on climate change.

The meeting was part of a provincial day of action called Defend Our Future organized by Kids for Climate Action.  Fifteen teams of high school students either met with their local MLAs or organized actions outside their MLA's offices. They received an eye-opening variety of responses from political leaders, not all of which were as positive as Mr. Chouhan’s.

High school students across the province are gearing up for the second year of Defend our Future. In anticipation, we wanted to reflect on our experience last year. Here are some snippets of conversations we have had with BC politicians: the best, the worst, and the strangest.

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Reflections and Looking Forward

Youth are far too often left out of the important discussions of today, even though we will be the ones who suffer their repercussions and have to clean up after the careless generations that came before us. 13 months ago a group of high school students set out to reclaim our decision-making power of the issues that will define our future. In February 2014, youth activists from across the province joined forces with Kids for Climate Action to create the movement that you now see before you--Defend Our Future. The mission was simple: create a platform for us, the youth of BC, to stand up and be heard by our elected representatives. We had one clear message: we need you to defend our future.

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Why I'm Defending my Future on April 8th

Here in New Westminster, the Fraser River lies close to our homes and our hearts. I’ve spent many sunny days at the Quay, watching the bustle of people that play in the Pier Park and flow in and out of the River Market. I also enjoy running in the trails near my house that follow the Brunette River, which flows into the Fraser.

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It's Time to Defend Our Future

In less than three weeks I will join high school students from across the province in meeting with our local MLAs, and I couldn’t be more excited! It seems that politicians will not act with the interests of the future of the environment or youth in mind unless their constituents demand they do, and that is exactly why Defend Our Future is back.

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Apply for Energy East's NEB Public Hearings

Since the overwhelming wave of opposition that turned the Enbridge pipeline into a public sensation, the National Energy Board has become increasingly opaque. Following the Enbridge public hearings in which 1000+ people responded to the project with a  resounding no, the NEB added a laundry list of requirements to the application process for public hearings. Now, it takes an hour of paperwork to even be considered as a commenter, and applicants are required to show proof that they will be directly affected by the proposed project. And even if they do get accepted, the NEB is under no requirement to actually read their comments at all.

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Climate Change Warning Labels on Gas Pump Nozzles

Come out on January 26 to a lecture hosted by Kids For Climate Action and Rob Shirkey about his campaign: to get municipalities to put climate change warning labels on gas pump nozzles. 

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Collaborating with the Dogwood Initiative on Municipal Elections

In the weeks preceding the municipal elections, Kids for Climate Action partnered with the Dogwood Initiative to get people out to vote in the municipal elections; people who would stand up for environmental issues and ensure their voices are heard in politics. With the events unfolding on Burnaby Mountain and the Kinder Morgan pipeline (#kmface with our volunteers above), as well as the approval of a new coal port at the Fraser Surrey Docks, it was especially important to get people out to vote for people who would stand against climate change and offer policies that would lead to a more sustainable future.

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Burnaby youth have conversation with Raj Chouhan

“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. 

 

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