For release December 12, 2009
Canadians Lead The Way With Highest Number of Actions Per Capita For December 12th Day of Action
This December 12th weekend, people in Canada organized a total of 401 actions, rallies, and vigils to demand Canada support a fair, meaningful, and binding treaty in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Going by the Avaaz website map, Canada had the second highest number of total actions of all countries (just behind the United States which stood at 499), and the highest number of actions per capita.
Vigils were organized in Canada’s major cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal. In Toronto, 250 people stood outside the Queens Park Legislature overlooking the city and stood in silence for 350 seconds to reflect our desire to reduce the earth’s greenhouse gas concentrations. In Montreal, families gathered at Sainte-Catherine Street and Phillips Place to save Santa Claus and North Pole; people were invited to make their wish to Santa for the future of the planet and save Santa Claus who may soon be a climate refugee.
These vigils are also testimony that the people of Canada do not see eye to eye with the Canadian Government on how Canada should respond to climate change. People in Canada demonstrated today that want a real, fair, and binding treaty at Copenhagen.
Climate Action Network organizer of the Toronto vigil, Katelyn Blacisk, said “it's important that young people become involved in the fight. We're the ones who are going to be inheriting the Earth, so to speak."
The Canadian Government should listen to its people. Canada's negotiators are ruining Canada's reputation as a progressive and humanitarian nation by stalling progress on reaching a fair, ambitious, and binding deal in Copenhagen. Already, Canada has won three fossil fuel awards, which is a “prize” given to countries who are blocking progress at the United Nations climate summit, is awarded daily by a coalition of 400 leading international NGOs.
The Canadian Youth Climate Coalition was one of the key groups partnering with Climate Action Network to organizing the December 12th day of action. CYCC's Courtney Quinn said "CYCC got involved in the day of action because young people need to take the lead and demand climate justice because our leaders are letting us down. “Climate change is already harming and killing people, from Pacific islanders whose homes are going underwater to First Nations who live near the tar sands in Alberta whose lands are being polluted so rich companies can get a little richer. We have a responsibility do the right thing and stop climate change and move to a green economy before it’s too late,” said Courtney Quinn.
The most critical message of all to take from the December 12th day of action is that the people of Canada are mobilizing to solve climate change in never before seen numbers. It's time to keep up that momentum in 2010 and beyond. The struggle for climate justice continues.