Toronto, Ont. – On Monday April 15, Environmental Defence will hold a lunchtime rally to demand the provincial government stop wasting tax dollars in court fighting climate solutions and instead start taking serious action on climate change. This rally coincides with the start of the hearings in Ontario’s court challenge of the federal carbon pricing program.

The rally will take place behind the Osgoode Hall courthouse, on the east side of University Avenue, between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Featured speakers include an emergency room doctor, a high school teacher, several youth, and suburban commuters.

“I have been teaching about climate change in Science and Geography for over 20 years and there has been far too little political will to address this crisis. I will support any strategy that addresses the climate crisis so my students have a future. As long as fossil fuels are cheap, people will keep using them. Putting a price on carbon emissions leverages the power of the market to enable reductions at the lowest cost,” says Julie Hendren, a High School Teacher.

Represented by the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), Environmental Defence is an approved intervenor in the Ontario’s Court of Appeal Reference on the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, and will ask the Court to consider the criminal law power and trade and commerce power as sources of federal authority to pass a carbon pricing law. Environmental Defence will argue that both the federal and provincial governments have authority to pass carbon pricing legislation and other climate change measures.

“Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. But the instead of taking deeper action to address climate change, the Ontario government is wasting $30 million in public funds to fight carbon pricing in court as well as on misleading ads about the federal carbon levy,” says Keith Brooks, Programs Director, Environmental Defence.

The rally and its speakers will send a strong message to the Ontario government that blocking climate solutions, such as carbon pricing, is unacceptable and that the province’s Environment Plan is an insufficient response to the urgent need for climate action.

“As a youth, I’m deeply concerned about climate change and how its effects will place my future and humanity’s survival at stake. I’m troubled about what the future holds as the deadline set for 2030 to limit our global temperature increase to 1.5 C creeps up on us,” says Kristin Rodrigo, Youth and Conservation Activist. “As one of the leading provinces in Canada, Ontario needs to do better. It needs to set an example and be a leader in green initiatives in combating climate change. As a first-world country with resources at reach, we need to be contributing more to this fight, deemed as humanity’s greatest threat.”

“Climate change brings along extreme weather events which threaten not only the equilibrium of the natural ecosystems, but also the stability of human infrastructure. At this defining moment of the future of both natural and human wellbeing, the Ontario government should take on the leadership of executing effective prevention and adaptation plans on behalf of the community,” says Fei Wu, a High School Student. “The youth are the future leaders to combat climate change, but why wait until then, when we have the power and passion to act now?”

The rally will take place rain or shine.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:  Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, abraude@environmentaldefence.ca