On Friday, June 16, CPJ delivered close to 2,000 Give it up for the Earth! postcards to an enthusiastic and visibly moved Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
The meeting came just days after the Minister had met Pope Francis at the Vatican, where they had pledged to continue to work together to protect “our common home.” Minister McKenna shared that she was inspired by her meeting with the Pope and that she came away wondering how to better engage the Canadian Christian community in the work of addressing climate change. Enter Give it up for the Earth!
Minister McKenna was excited to learn that Canadians of faith in over 90 churches, schools, and religious orders in more than 55 towns and cities all across Canada – in all provinces and the Yukon territory – had taken a personal pledge to Give it up for the Earth! during Lent 2017. She was also encouraged by the eagerness of Canadian Christians to see faster, more far-reaching action on the part of the Government of Canada.
Reflecting on the campaign’s calls – for more ambitious carbon pricing and an expedited phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, respect for Indigenous rights and an acknowledgement of the problems with pipelines, the need for retraining for energy workers and increasing global climate financing – the Minister affirmed the importance of more action in these areas and reiterated that the current federal-provincial climate framework is just a starting point. Naming challenging political dynamics as significant constraints to Canadian climate action, Minister McKenna expressed gratitude for the message of Give it up for the Earth! and the encouragement from Canadians of faith to respond boldly to the global climate crisis.
Above: The Give it up for the Earth! postcards were presented to Minister McKenna (third from the left) by the chaplain of Immaculata High School Leah Daly, CPJ board member and Development & Peace animator Geneviève Gallant, CPJ staff Karri Munn-Venn and Asha Kerr-Wilson, and Immaculata student Chelsea Donoghue.