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.
Last year, fifteen youth teams demanded change from their local MLAs as part of a provincial day of action called Defend Our Future, organized by Kids For Climate Action. The youth received many different responses, both encouraging and disappointing. Students from the the Burnaby-Edmonds riding left feeling inspired after Raj Chouhan excitedly explained to them that “we must meet the 2020 [greenhouse gas emission] targets! We have to!” In stark contrast, a different team of youth was locked out in the rain when they tried to meet with Cabinet Minister Andrew Wilkinson.
This year youth are demanding action on the proposed expansion to Fraser Surrey coal dock exports. Ignoring the enormous public opposition, Port Metro Vancouver approved the Fraser Surrey coal docks export expansion on August 21st 2014. If this proposal is fully brought to life, BC residents can look forward to a 125-car train of US-mined thermal coal to pass through their communities daily on it’s way to the Fraser Surrey docks. It will then be barged to a transfer facility on Texada island before it is sent, as an inefficient and dirty energy source, to Asian markets on huge cargo vessels. As residents of BC and this world, we cannot let this happen.
The 2015 countdown is on! With 20 events already organised to take place on April 8th, BC youth are working hard to prepare for their second annual day of action. April 8th provides another opportunity for local politicians to engage with youth on important environmental topics. Will they step up to the challenge?
You can visit www.dofuture.ca to find events near you or start your own. Join us in standing up and asking our politicians to Defend Our Future!