Launch will present nearly 40K signatures to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

OTTAWA | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG PEOPLE — Environmental, Indigenous, labour and health organizations will deliver nearly 40,000 signatures to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, today (World Environment Day) calling for an end to fossil fuel electricity and support for renewable energy across Canada.

The petition delivery on Parliament Hill comes as the David Suzuki Foundation and its partners launch a new campaign, Renewable Power for All, which unites a broad spectrum of advocates behind a call to make electricity across Canada affordable, secure and clean.

In the face of unprecedented wildfires across Canada, and the increasing unaffordability of fossil fuels, public pressure is on the federal government to lock in renewable power and remove fossil fuels from Canada’s electricity grid by 2035. The federal government’s clean electricity regulations are expected to be released soon. With exemptions and loopholes for fossil fuels being considered, the regulations are at risk.

The collective petitions come from the David Suzuki Foundation, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Council of Canadians,, Environmental Defence, Ecology Action Centre, Ontario Clean Air Alliance and Leadnow.

Last year, the David Suzuki Foundation released research that was the first of its kind in Canada to chart pathways to 100 per cent zero-emissions electricity by 2035 without any fossil fuels, by relying on a mix of wind, solar, energy storage, energy efficiency and interprovincial transmission. The modelling, and other Canadian studies since, show that a future without fossil fuels is within reach, is more affordable, creates more jobs and brings significant benefits for energy security, health and the climate.

The Foundation is hosting a rally on Parliament Hill today (12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT) to hand the petition signatures to the Minister ahead of the release of the federal government’s clean electricity regulations. Other health, Indigenous and labour organizations also partnered on today’s event. Speakers at the event include:

  • Stephen Thomas, clean energy manager, David Suzuki Foundation
  • Dr. Sehjal Bhargava, Ontario chair, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
  • Dara Wawatie-Chabot, Indigenous critical researcher, Algonquin Anishinaabekwe
  • Olivia Onuk, spoken word artist from Art for Climate Justice
  • Alex Silas, regional executive vice-president of PSAC-NCR
  • Dylan Trebels, founding member of Electrify 613

Stephen Thomas, clean energy manager, David Suzuki Foundation, said:

“This week, unprecedented spring wildfires continue to burn from Nova Scotia to Quebec to Alberta. Climate impacts like this are intensifying, while the costs of fossil fuels continue to rise, worsening the affordability crisis for families in Canada.

“There has never been a better time for the federal government to lock in regulations for affordable, secure, renewable electricity for everyone in Canada by 2035, and leave fossil fuel power behind once and for all.

“This will not only protect our environment from the harms of fossil fuels, but it will also make electricity more affordable. Despite what oil and gas executives want you to think, wind and solar are the cheapest forms of electricity in history. We will all see the benefits on our energy bills if fossil fuels are excluded. That also means no more natural gas on the grid.

“That’s why we’re launching our new campaign, Renewable Power for All. We’re just getting started in the effort to secure these renewable power benefits for communities. We can’t let fossil fuel executives get the loopholes they’re lobbying for in the upcoming clean electricity regulations. Special treatment to maintain record profits for oil and gas would mean getting stuck with more expensive, unhealthy, uncompetitive electricity in Canada for decades to come.

“We have everything we need to get this done, and the sooner we get to work building this future, the sooner communities will see the benefits.”

Dara Wawatie, Indigenous critical researcher, Algonquin Anishinaabekwe, said:

“It doesn’t matter what we call this period of human history — just transition, clean energy transition or anything else. If we don’t place communities and families at the centre of any policy, program or legislation that is developed, nothing will change. It’s time for humanity to work together to heal the various collective traumas that exist from colonial violence and take responsibility for our future.”

Brenna Walsh, senior energy coordinator, Ecology Action Centre, said:

“Strong regulations will help Canada get to 100 per cent clean electricity by 2035. We need the federal government to step up and be bold with these regulations to secure fair and stable energy prices for clean, reliable electricity.

“Nova Scotia has strong climate commitments, and transitioning our electricity grid as quickly as possible to 100 per cent clean energy will help to maximize emissions reductions as we switch from oil heating to heat pumps, and gas cars to electric vehicles, and as industry looks to decarbonize. This is a key opportunity to secure thousands of jobs, fair and stable energy prices for households and a modernized electricity system that will position Canada and Nova Scotia as leaders in the global shift to clean energy.”

Dr. Deborah Curry, Vancouver-based physician:

“Climate change driven by the fossil fuel industry causes deadly heat waves, heart and lung disease from wildfire smoke, mental health problems and food insecurity, which can lead to mass migration and social unrest. Transitioning away from fossil fuels for electricity will decrease greenhouse gas emissions and give us cleaner air, improved equity and lower long-term energy costs. For the sake of our health, we must move toward a fossil fuel free clean electricity grid as soon as possible. The time to act is now.”

Dr. Joe Vipond, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment past-president and Calgary-based physician:

“Electrification, and importantly, emissions-free electrification, is the essential step needed towards a clean transition to a safer climate. With the co-benefits that come from the decrease in air pollution, Canada will win on multiple fronts as we pursue this essential goal.”

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For more information or media interviews, please contact:

Melanie Karalis:, 548-588-1279


  • The Renewable Power for All campaign will be launched today on the West Block Lawn, Parliament Hill from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET, with the petition delivered to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change at approximately 1 p.m. ET. Photos of the rally will be available shortly – please get in touch if you would like access.
  • The David Suzuki Foundation’s Renewable Power for All campaign and petition
  • The charity’s research is the first of its kind in Canada to model a pathway to 100 per cent zero-emissions electricity by 2035 without any fossil fuels.
  • Latest research from the Canadian Climate Institute shows that when we move to 100 per cent clean electricity, the cost of energy goes down by 12 per cent for Canadian households.