Why we vote — Pippa, John, Erich, Karen and Felicia

Compilation image of citizens who plan to vote for bold climate action

People from communities throughout Canada tell us why they’re voting for climate action

As the October 21 federal election approaches, climate change is on people’s minds and in their hearts. We’ve heard from thousands of citizens throughout the country who are concerned about the climate and inspired by the idea of a future powered by renewable energy. We found their statements so moving that we wanted to share some excerpts with you.

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Pippa cross-country skiing at sunset

“This fall, my vote will be based on whichever party offers the most hope on climate change action.”

I remember when winter was winter in Ottawa, when we could rely on weather staying below zero and enough snow to ski! Winter has changed in my lifetime and is now like a yo-yo of freezing and thawing.

As I write this, Ottawa is still under a state of emergency because of flooding. We have higher water levels than we experienced in 2017, which was supposed to be the flood of the century. We’ve also had tornadoes last fall and record heat waves in the past few summers. Climate change is real… it’s happening right now, and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t finally take serious action.

No more short-term gain for long-term pain. It’s time to invest in clean, renewable energy.

Mother, environmentalist and avid cross-country skier

John's police car

“I reject any notion that taking action on climate is alarmist, insignificant or premature. Canada must lead by example when it comes to combatting climate change.”

I am a police officer, and I work every day to safeguard the citizens of and visitors to my community.

In the upcoming election, I want to see a change in the way that government officials and their parties operate. We need to take every action we can to drastically cut our emissions and to take care of our land, our atmosphere and our bodies of water. We cannot continue to view the natural world as a dumping ground or as an inexhaustible or indestructible resource.

We must set the proper example when it comes to combatting climate change. We must not abdicate this role at such a critical time. There are tipping points at which time it will be impossible to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Police officer

Erich with his dogs on a mountain top

“We need political leadership that commits to taking bold climate action. That is the commitment I will be looking for when I make my decision in the fall federal election as to who will get my vote.”

For Canada, becoming more energy efficient and shifting to renewable energy is not just a challenge, it also provides tremendous opportunities for all working people to find decently paying jobs together with the job satisfaction of being part of a new sustainable economy.

My vision of a renewable energy future in Canada includes using all available science and Indigenous knowledge to cut Canada’s emissions in half in 11 years while protecting cultural and biological diversity. It also includes not leaving anybody behind and creating a better present and future for all of us.

I have voted in every federal and provincial election for the past 31 years and will continue to do so, since for me it is part of being a citizen and taking responsibility in what is happening in our country, province and local community.

Retired horticulturalist and former employee of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

Karen tending to her bees

“Saving the planet will only happen when all peoples come together to recognize the sacredness of all life, not just human, and to begin to live more gently and respectfully on the Earth. I pray it is not too late and that our political leaders will take action now.”

In recent years, I have attempted to further support our environment by raising bees. However, despite doing everything that experienced beekeepers told me to do, four out of five years, all my bees died as a direct result of climate change. I have a large garden and several fruit trees. I fear that my crops and flowers may not be pollinated because of a lack of bees.

Saving the planet is not something that can be done by any one couple, like my husband and I, acting alone. Nor is it something that can be done by any one political party, but together you have the power, if you have the will, to really make significant changes that are needed right now. Furthermore, Canada may not be able to save the planet, but we can certainly become a leader and a model for active change that will encourage other countries to follow suit.

Ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church and beekeeper

Felicia in her hospital scrubs

“Today I am working inside at a hospital, and everyone around me is wearing masks because of the smoke that has engulfed our city this week.”

The sight of our city’s buildings being disappeared by wafts of grey is truly surreal and terrifying. I regret profoundly that I have given life to someone who has innocently inherited the damage that has come before her. I have guilt for the challenges that she will face in her lifetime as a result of the carelessness of past generations.

I feel deeply responsible for not talking louder, fighting harder and devoting more time to what is the paramount cause in our history, but all I can do now is insist that more has to be done to resolve our country’s environmental state.

The right and only thing that we can do for our children is to show them that voices matter, votes matter and someone is listening.

Hospital worker, mom, student and deeply concerned citizen

What is your vision of a renewable future? Federal party leaders need to hear from you.

Send your message to party leaders!