Your Climate Justice Voting Guide

The votes are in … except they’re not. But Ontario’s party platforms are here, and we’ve funnelled them through a climate justice filter to make it easier for you to assess them. 


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What a climate candidate looks like

With the provincial election coming up on June 2, we’re posing one question: What does the ideal climate action candidate look like for Toronto?

Forget partisanship. Forget smear campaigns. Forget voting for a candidate because their climate platform is marginally better than another. 

And forget needless bureaucratic gatekeeping — climate justice advocacy is simple when it’s specific, direct, and actionable.

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Pre-Provincial Election Actions!

People in Ontario are concerned about many things. These include rising costs, workers' rights, health, affordable housing, food security and climate action. All of these things are part of climate justice!

Toronto350 is supporting many upcoming events ahead of the provincial election. Come on out and help send the collective message that we need a healthy, just and green province. Together we can help elect candidates who wish to build a better world along with us. Post-election, we can continue to call for change. 

Solidarity!

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Flooding Prevention in York South-Weston

Chiara Padovani is a social worker with North York Harvest Food Bank. In that role, she works on issues of food security and the right to food. Since late 2020, she has also been instrumental in the initiative, York South-Weston Neighbours for Flooding Action.  

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The First Climate Famine

Madagascar is in the midst of a famine. While this may come as news to most people around the world, the UN has cited this as the first famine caused due to climate change [1]. Madagascar has historically produced negligible amounts of carbon. However, they are the first to feel the disastrous effects of climate change.

The lands impoverished by colonialism are in line to face the consequence of the excesses of the colonizers once more. As the effects of climate change are being felt around the world, the mistruths perpetuated by self-interested parties to slow down climate action come into sharper relief every day. Politicians around the world claim that climate action has to be balanced with economic interests. This is a false dichotomy since any delayed action will result in much higher adaptation costs in the future.  It also exposes the amorality of the drive to extract value from the system regardless of the costs to the environment or human and animal life. 

 

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Toronto Acorn - Healthy Homes Demands

Toronto Acorn (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is a "multi-issue, membership-based community of low- and moderate-income people" (quote from https://acorncanada.org/about) that fights and wins change by doings things like doorknocking, petitioning and non-violent direct actions.

The first organized group was founded in Weston-Mt. Dennis. They now have groups all over the city. Some of the fights and wins they've had over time include strengthening enforcement of standards in apartment buildings and regulation of the payday loan industry. Current campaigns include fighting for a new Residential Tenancy Act and for licensing all landlords in Toronto. Join an open, local meeting or learn more about how to get involved here

We touched base with a local organizer who highlighted the fact that retrofits and ageing high rises are a climate justice issue.

Read Acorn's full Healthy Homes Demands here. Or read on for highlights related to Retrofits and ageing High Rises and more ways to amplify and take action.

 

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TORONTO RESIDENTS JOIN NATIONAL MOBILIZATION FOR A JUST TRANSITION

TORONTO, Ontario – On March 12, hundreds of community members gathered at the offices of five local Members of Parliament as part of a national day of action calling for the passage and implementation of a Just Transition Act. The event comes in the wake of the IPCC’s most alarming climate report yet, released earlier this month. 

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Divestment Update!

Inspired by Bill McKibben’s call to action in 2012, Toronto350.org organizers began pushing for fossil fuel divestment at the University of Toronto in April 2013. Following the university’s formal policy, we drafted and submitted a divestment brief which - in adapted form - was used by successful campaigns at the University of Glasgow and Trinity St. Paul’s United Church in Toronto. Now, eight years and six months after the campaign began, U of T is following recent announcements from Concordia, UBC, Guelph, Lakehead, UVic, and Waterloo and committing to sell off the direct holdings in fossil fuel companies from its endowment within a year, and to divest co-mingled fossil fuel holdings no later than 2030.

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2021 Recap - Year in Review

For many of us, a new calendar year started just seven days ago. This new year, despite our best hopes, brings the need for continued COVID-19 vigilance and precautions. In-person school is cancelled. Those that can are being asked to stay home and those that can’t, often frontline workers, are continuing to support and care for the rest of us in difficult, if not dangerous, circumstances. Much gratitude to everyone, for what you’re doing to protect each other and keep us going collectively. 

Photo: December 21 Defund Coastal GasLink Gidimt'en solidarity call-out rally. See https://www.yintahaccess.com/ for more action call-outs and ongoing updates.

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Eco-Anxiety Discussion Starter

 

By Susan Bakshi

Eco Anxiety is a recognized form of anxiety* stemming from a sense of doom or depression tied to the grief of a lost future as a result of the climate crisis/ecological destruction of the planet.  It is a form of Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder and as front line environmental workers and volunteers we would like to acknowledge all the feelings that many of us may be having right now - anger, fear, frustration, guilt, disassociation, burnout and overwhelm.  These are all normal and you are not alone in feeling them.

So what can we do to help ourselves and others?

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