David Suzuki Foundation urges Ontarians to cast ballot on October 24

TORONTO | Traditional territory of many nations – including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples – and now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples — The David Suzuki Foundation today launched a multilingual campaign urging Ontarians to vote for climate action and nature protection in the October 24 municipal elections.

The non-partisan initiative includes a text messaging campaign, a speaking tour of colleges and universities, publication of opinion articles stressing the importance of voting and creation of an online hub and multilingual voters’ guide.

The initiative is the first ever “get out the vote” effort that offers a voters’ guide in 10 languages, including Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Punjabi, Tagalog, Tamil and Urdu.

“Voter turnout is at an all-time low and people are disillusioned with politics,” says Julius Lindsay, the Foundation’s director of sustainable communities and co-founder of the Black Environmental Alliance. “We need to meet people where they’re at. If we want to reach folks from diverse communities and reassure them that their vote matters, we need to do it in a way that is culturally meaningful to them.”

The campaign also emphasizes the importance of the youth vote.

“Young people care about what happens on election day because it’s our future, but many of us don’t necessarily see our vote making a difference,” says Divya Arora, the Foundation’s community engagement organizer and co-founder of the Community Climate Council in Peel. “As young people, we can’t wait for the perfect conditions to create change. We have to start sometime, and October 24 is our next big chance.”

The vast majority of residents support strong environmental protection. A recent EKOS poll found 75 per cent of suburban Ontarians agree that candidates should support greater protection of the Greenbelt. Meanwhile, 80 per cent of suburbanites support bringing more nature into the city, including pollinator-friendly plants and trees.

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For more information or a media interview, please contact:

Stefanie Carmichael, scarmichael@davidsuzuki.org, 437-221-4692

The David Suzuki Foundation (DavidSuzuki.org | @DavidSuzukiFdn) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, founded in 1990. We operate in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. We collaborate with all people in Canada, including First Nations leadership and communities, governments, businesses and individuals to find solutions to create a sustainable Canada through scientific research, traditional ecological knowledge, communications and public engagement, and innovative policy and legal solutions. Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future.