Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign calls for widespread municipal climate action
During a media conference this morning at Queen’s Park, the Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign (OCEC) will call on all Ontarians to recognize the Oct. 24, 2022 municipal elections as a massive opportunity for public climate action by voting for pro-environmental candidates. Crucial co-benefits to health, the economy and more will be highlighted by the OCEC, a non-partisan multi-sector coalition of nearly 250 groups representing approximately 850,000 Ontarians.
OCEC co-chair and Ontario chair for the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment Dr Mili Roy states, “With municipalities influencing a whopping 50 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, the climate crisis requires urgent local government responses like never before. Yet the June 2022 election saw the lowest voter turnout in Ontario history producing a majority government representing only 18 per cent of eligible voters. The OCEC calls on all Ontarians to seize this crucial opportunity to vote for climate action with all its associated benefits in the upcoming municipal election.”
OCEC is identifying pro-environmental candidates who endorse a municipal Climate Action Plan. The plan sets globally recognized emissions targets by urgently getting municipalities off fossil fuels while protecting public health from environmental threats and promoting broad public awareness of the issues.
In addition to OCEC, there will be speakers from several signatory groups, including Jack Gibbons, chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. “Unfortunately, our current provincial government wants to move Ontario backwards by skyrocketing gas plants’ emissions by more than 600 per cent. This is climate and economic lunacy. Air pollution causes 6,600 premature deaths in Ontario every year. We need strong local leaders who will say ‘no’ to new gas plants in their municipalities and say ‘yes’ to clean lower cost renewable energy options,” states Gibbons.
Mitra Yakubi, chair of the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario, will also speak at today’s media conference. She says, “The climate crisis is an urgent existential issue for our generation. Without significant climate action, these threats will multiply. Urgent municipal-level climate action is necessary to achieve global emissions reduction targets. During these municipal elections, students and youth demand immediate climate action and ‘Demand Our Future.”
As a signatory of OCEC, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) will also give remarks today. Dr. Doris Grinspun, CEO of RNAO, reminds us that “the climate crisis is the single greatest health crisis of our time. The good news is that municipal-level decisions carry immense power with the potential to achieve environmental solutions that will produce significant health and economic benefits. Nurses know that the only way forward is to act urgently and collectively to safeguard the present and future for ourselves and our children, and for generations to come.”
For more information, please contact the co-chairs of the Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign: