To the Honourable Steven Guilbeault,
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
Our Earth is suffering. Natural systems are shifting, plant species are vulnerable, too many animals are at risk of extinction, and humans (especially in Northern communities and the Global South) are losing their lives and livelihoods to environmental degradation and disasters. Entire ecosystems, communities, and nations are struggling to survive.
The global climate crisis is rooted in the same colonial systems and structures of exploitation and racism that shaped Canada’s history and continue to harm Indigenous Peoples today. To move forward in a good way, we must prioritize Indigenous autonomy, transform our economic and social structures, and create space for the voices of those who have been traditionally marginalized and continue to be particularly vulnerable to the climate crisis.
During the season of Lent, I will Give it up for the Earth! by taking action to reduce my personal greenhouse gas emissions. Recognizing that honouring Indigenous rights is at the core of achieving climate justice, I am also committed to learning about and building relationships with the Indigenous communities on whose traditional territory I live, work, and play.
But personal action is not enough.
It is essential that Canada’s new climate plan include measures sufficient to meet and exceed our emissions reduction commitments, while also—as named in your mandate letter—promoting equity, resilience, and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
In recent years, the Government of Canada has taken important steps towards honouring Indigenous rights, reducing emissions, and effectively addressing the climate crisis. You have also committed to end subsidies to the fossil fuel sector by 2023. Yet we are far from achieving the Paris Agreement temperature goals.
Mr. Minister, Canada needs to Give it up for the Earth!
Will you follow-through on existing climate action commitments and also legislate a just transition that dismantles systems of oppression and inequality by centering Indigenous rights; promotes fairness and inclusion; and creates good, secure, green jobs?
For the Love of Creation,
cc.: Minister Chrystia Freeland, Finance
Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Natural Resources
Minister Marc Miller, Crown-Indigenous Relations
My MP: (completed based on information provided above)
Give it up for the Earth! is CPJ's annual Lenten faith-in-action climate campaign. CPJ is a proud member of the faith-based climate justice initiative, For the Love of Creation (FLC). We thank FLC for their collaboration. We also extend our thanks to the members of our climate advisory committee, whose insights and experience were instrumental in shaping this campaign. All letters submitted will be delivered to Ministers Guilbeault, Freeland, Wilkinson, and Miller, as well as the signatory’s Member of Parliament.