Today, citizens across the country as well as some of the country’s largest and most influential organizations including Canada’s Association for the 45Plus (CARP), the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Steelworkers Union of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Students, among others, are uniting as part of a new citizens movement calling for stronger action on climate change. The official launch today of PowerUP Canada comes one day after many of the country’s most influential leaders, including former prime ministers, released recommendations for new stronger climate laws and policies in Canada.
“Canadians are concerned and trying to do their part but we have some of the weakest laws in the industrialized world and that’s why global warming pollution in Canada is projected to keep growing,” said Tzeporah Berman, Executive Director of PowerUP Canada.  “We’re going to make sure Canadians have a place to voice their concerns and get the information they need to clarify the difference between real climate leadership and spin.”

PowerUP Canada will provide Canadians with a positive new vision for Canada, provide non-partisan information about global warming and a common campaign to amplify citizens’ voices, clarify federal parties’ and candidates’ climate positions, host public events and build an online networking community.

“PowerUP Canada is a campaign that resonates with all generations in Canada and CARP is proud to support it. We will be reaching out to our members and encouraging them to engage in this important initiative,” said Ross Mayot, Vice President of Community Development at CARP. CARP is presenting a new vision of aging for Canada and has 350,000 members throughout the country.

“Global warming is one of the most serious problems that our society needs to take action on. Canadians are taking personal responsibility for making changes in their own lives to turn the tide, but that will be meaningless unless our governments take decisive action to enact stronger laws to fight climate change,” said Kashmir Dhaliwal President of the Khalsa Diwan Society, North America’s largest Sikh association.

“We are committed to being part of this bold plan to take action to develop and use climate-safe technologies to reduce harmful emissions. Steelworkers know that investing in clean energy will provide the kind of permanent jobs that Canada needs right now,” said Ken Neuman National Director for the United Steelworkers Canada.

“As someone who still had lingering doubts about the climate change only five years ago, I am now a firm believer that we are facing a critical moment that the time for saving the planet is now.  Individual effort is important, and Canadians are indeed doing their part, but it is not sufficient without strong government actions and laws,” said Dr. Joseph Wong, Founding National President, Chinese Canadian National Council

PowerUP Canada also released a new national poll today that clearly shows the majority of Canadians believe stronger climate laws will improve our economy.

“The findings show climate change is a central issue for Canadians.  Most people are convinced that making progress in this area will strengthen the economy for the long term, a lot fewer see it as an effort that will cause huge economic trauma,” said Bruce Anderson, CEO of Harris Decima. “High energy prices have combined with several other key influences to make people feel that moving from a carbon heavy economy is prudent, and not doing so carries economic risk.”

“Well designed environmental measures will not undermine Canada’s competitiveness. Our industry has reduced greenhouse gases by 44 percent without waiting for government regulation.  But this is not enough.  Governments need to create a business climate that will accelerate the integration of Canada’s economic and environmental agendas,” said Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada.

Dr. Mark Jaccard, one of Canada’s leading climate policy experts, recently added his voice to the PowerUP chorus: “We didn’t get lead out of gasoline by having people boycott driving, and we can’t get cars and power plants off carbon emissions that way either. Problems like climate change have to be solved by government action and so far no federal government has lived up to the trust of Canadians.”
“Canadians are trying to do their part against global warming,” said actor and author Ann-Marie MacDonald, “but this isn’t a problem individuals can solve. I am supporting PowerUP because it’s good to change our lightbulbs but it’s much more important to change the laws.”
 
A high profile green carpet event tonight at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto celebrates the official launch of PowerUP Canada. Prominent supporters of PowerUP Canada include Canadian Olympian, Adam Kreek – Gold Medalist at the Beijing Olympics, Canadian actors Rachel McAdams, Kiefer Sutherland, Neve Campbell, Charles Martin Smith, Prof. Thomas Homer-Dixon, Clayton Ruby, Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Designer Evan Biddell, Moses Znaimer and many more.
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For more information see www.powerupcanada.ca or please contact:
Tzeporah Berman, Executive Director, PowerUP Canada – (604) 313-4713
Tim Gray, Steering Committee, PowerUP Canada – (416) 986-2408
Press inquiries related to the Green Carpet Gala contact Dawna Shulman – (818) 632-3296
Video and still photos available