It’s election time, and we’ve got volunteers on the phone lines now. They’re making calls almost daily to Sierra Club BC supporters like you to remind them to vote in the federal election on October 21.
It’s official—the BC election period has begun.
From now until Election Day, the rules make it difficult for Sierra Club BC to draw attention to issues you care about like the Site C dam, Kinder Morgan tankers and protecting old-growth forests.
That’s why we need your help more than ever to amplify these critical election issues. Here are six ways you can make a difference for BC’s environment this election:
- If you haven’t already, join our Facebook community and follow us on Twitter. Checking our news feed is an amazingly simple way to keep track of the issues you care about most and share them with your own network. We’ll be keeping close tabs on the news for you, and we’re hoping you’ll share it like you’ve never shared before!
- Talk to your friends, family and neighbours. Encourage them to get informed on the issues in your riding. Share what you know about how the Site C dam will cause their hydro bills to skyrocket to provide subsidies to oil and gas corporations. Voting is more fun together – make a plan with friends to walk to the polls together or offer them a ride to the polling station if you can!
- Attend an all-candidates meeting in your riding. Ask your candidates where they stand on the Site C dam and Kinder Morgan’s tar sands pipeline and tankers proposal. Find our team at meetings in Victoria, Esquimalt, Sidney, Vancouver and Tri-Cities.
- Volunteer with us! Right now, we need canvassers on the ground and on the phone helping to get out the vote. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join our team.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper on the issue you care about most. Whether it’s supporting clean water, good green jobs, a livable climate, or keeping big old trees standing, you are in the best position to influence your own community by taking a stand.
- And of course, don’t forget to vote on May 9 or in the advance polls! (Not sure if you’re registered? Sign up here)
Elections come and go. Politicians rise and fall. Communities are here to stay, as is the natural world we depend on. And no matter who is in power after May 9, Sierra Club BC will continue working hard to defend the places you love. We hope you’ll join us.
A message from Executive Director Bob Peart
November 9. 2016
The sun rose today, as it always does, but we woke up to a profoundly changed world.
I can feel that change in my heavy heart. I feel it as sadness, as fear, as uncertainty, and often as anger.
A Trump presidency casts a frightening shadow over women, First Nations, people of colour, immigrants, the LGBTQ community and those whose faith sets them apart. It casts a shadow over Canada and generations to come.
We must all take care of ourselves and our family, friends, neighbours and co-workers. We must grieve for what has been lost and for what is to come. We will all do this in our own ways. For me, getting out into nature always helps.
It will take time. But we cannot grieve for long.
We need to respond to this changed world.
Trump will be the only head of state in the entire world who denies that human activity is causing climate change. He wants to abandon the Paris agreement. He will open the door to the Keystone XL pipeline getting built.
Our path to a post carbon world, in which humans and the natural world can prosper together, has undoubtedly become harder. But we must double down on our resolve to forge that path.
Our national and provincial governments will be challenged by the reality of a Trump presidency. They may be tempted to believe they can get away with more, because they’ll still look good compared to Trump.
That can’t be allowed to happen. Trump’s presidency cannot be license to backslide. We need to make sure our governments respond in ways that are good for nature, good for our climate, and good for our collective future.
We need to keep their feet to the fire. Now more than ever.
We will need to strengthen the coalitions in which we work. We will need to strengthen the bonds that we forge with our friends and allies. We will need to work with and stand up for those who are most threatened by this new reality.
Sierra Club BC has made a profound impact on B.C. over its 47 years. We have seen presidents, prime ministers and premiers come and go. There have been huge victories, such as the Great Bear Rainforest, and there have been setbacks and darker times.
But know this: if we work hard and work smart, we can be successful in defending nature. We can be successful in stabilizing the climate. And we can be successful in transitioning to a prosperous post-carbon world.
So yes, let us take some time to mourn and to look after each other. But then let’s organize, and let’s grow the grassroots power and solidarity that we need for this fight.
To be strong and resilient in the face of daunting challenges, now—more than ever—we need your support. Our world has been profoundly changed. And I know we are up to the task of responding.
Please make a donation today to help us act.
Bob Peart, Executive Director
Sierra Club BC
On October 19, Canadians go to the polls. We want to make sure the environment—and in particular climate change—receives the attention it deserves from federal candidates.
Sierra Club BC has released a report, prepared by the University of Victoria’s highly respected Environmental Law Centre, detailing how British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment (EA) process fails to consider climate change. Blind Spot: The Failure to Consider Climate in British Columbia’s Environmental Assessments also shows how climate considerations can be built into the EA process.
We call it the Climate Test. Projects that fail the test will not proceed, helping B.C. achieve desperately needed emission reductions. LNG terminals and tar sands pipelines, for example, would not pass the test.
The need for a Climate Test is not just a B.C. issue. Other provinces can adopt something similar. And so can the federal government.
Canada’s environmental laws and regulations have been severely weakened, over the last few years. Re-instating, and enforcing, strong environmental laws and strengthening our national environmental review process are crucial steps to climate action.
Climate is not currently being considered in federal reviews of projects such as Enbridge Northern Gateway or Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers.
Ask your local candidates where they stand: Will they commit to ensuring climate impacts are considered when energy projects such as pipelines are reviewed?
Our election page lays out a number of questions, in addition to the Climate Test, we think local candidates should answer on the environment. It also shows how you can make sure you are registered to vote.
Let’s talk to our candidates now so we can hold them accountable after the election!
Photo by TJ Watt