There has been some serious youth involvement when it comes to climate activism in Canada lately. With marches and protests taking place across the country, it's clear that the Canadians of tomorrow are fighting to get their voices heard. Most recently, Canadian teens file to sue the government over climate change. It's official, 15 young Canadians are going up against the government to fight for climate action.
A group of Canadian teens and pre-teens are taking their fight against climate change to court and suing the federal government for its part in the climate crisis.
At a climate rally in Vancouver on Friday, October 25, 2019, the plaintiffs gathered, standing side by side to announce why they've decided to sue the Canadian government. "We must constantly come face to face with the reality of climate chaos," Albert Jerome Lalonde, one of the plaintiffs, told the climate rally crowd. "We will hold the government accountable for their actions."
The lawsuit filed on October 25 accuses the government of "contributing to dangerous climate change" and wants to hold the government accountable for its actions.
The young activists behind the lawsuit are from seven provinces and one territory and they range in age seven to 19. They are represented by two law firms and the lawsuit is supported by the David Suzuki Foundation, the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation, and Our Children’s Trust.
The lawsuit demands the Canadian government stops violating the rights of Canadian youth and puts a plan in place, based on science, that reduces Canada's emissions and stabilizes the climate system.
"I don't want to die before I can even live," said Saj Milan Gray Starcevich, at the rally in Vancouver.
Each time one of the plaintiffs took the mic and shared why they decided to sue the government, the crowd erupted with cheers of support.
The reasons ranged from not having breathable air because of wildfires, seeing homes destroyed because of intense storms, not being able to do regular outdoor activities, and seeing indigenous lands and resources being wiped out.
At the rally, Greta Thunberg stood alongside the young Canadians who are taking on the government.
Thunberg's climate strikes in Sweden launched a global movement. The Swedish activist started her strikes alone but now people around the world are joining in and taking to the streets to strike, rally, and march for the climate.
Thunberg showed her support for Canadian youth and their fight against the government by standing tall with them at the Fridays for Future rally in Vancouver.
"The case, La Rose et. al. v. Her Majesty the Queen, seeks to hold Canada accountable for contributing to dangerous climate change and discriminating against youth" reads the press release.
At the rally, Chris Tollefson, one of the lawyers involved in the lawsuit, said that it's not about compensation or monetary damages. The 15 young Canadians aren't looking for money with this lawsuit. They want change and they want action.
"We're ready and I hope you are too," he said.