Power Shift: Largest Canadian youth summit on climate change

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Canadian Youth CLimate Coalition National Director Amber Church (Antarctic ‘05/Arctic ‘08)

Power Shift Canada: Largest youth summit on climate change in Canadian history

Ottawa (October 14, 2009) — Over 1,000 young people from every Canadian province and territory will gather in Ottawa between October 23-26 for the largest ever youth event on climate change in Canada’s history. Power Shift Canada, a project of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, will span four days of action, lobbying, workshops, keynote speakers, and concerts.

“Power Shift is a historic moment for the youth climate movement in Canada,” says Canadian Youth Climate Coalition National Director, Amber Church. “From coast to coast, young people are mobilizing around the Power Shift principles. The number one priority for youth is the immediate reduction of carbon emissions,” says Church. “Time is ticking for our leaders to take action to safeguard our climate. We’re calling for Canada to do its part to build and ratify an ambitious, fair and binding agreement at the UN climate summit in December 2009.” In addition, Power Shift Canada principles include investing in clean and renewable energy, creating effective green jobs, demonstrating a commitment to environmental justice and managing a sustainable and clean economy.

“Whether you are a youth from a new immigrant family, a young worker employed in the industrial sector, a student, or a youth from an Inuit community on Baffin Island, you can connect with these principles and see your place in them,” says Church.

Once in Ottawa the youth will bring their message to elected officials. On October 24th they will join thousands of Canadians on Parliament Hill for 350.org’s International Day of Climate Action (www.350.org). Then on October 26th they will be meeting with MPs and Senators to discuss the Power Shift Principles. This will be complemented by a national press conference on Parliament Hill on October 26th where Canadian youth will challenge leaders of the major federal political parties to stand in solidarity with them and publically sign on to uphold the Power Shift Principles.

“At Power Shift Canada we are going to send a message to our elected officials that if they don’t support
action on climate change, we’ll elect politicians that do,” says Tria Donaldson, lead coordinator for Power Shift Canada. “The point has come in history where youth will no longer allow themselves to be ignored,” adds Church, “we will stand united and fight for our future – I only hope that our leaders will be brave enough to stand with us.”

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For more information about Power Shift Canada and our campaigns please visit
www.powershiftcanada.org

Contacts:

Amber Church
National Director, Canadian Youth Climate Coalition
email: cycc.director@gmail.com
ph: 778-238-9884

Tria Donaldson
Power Shift Canada Coordinator
email: powershift@powershiftcanada.org
ph: 250-686-9249

Note:

Photo ops:
o Power Shift Opening Ceremonies; Friday, Oct. 23, 8 pm – 12 am; Nepean Sportsplex
o Power Shift Flash Mob; Saturday, Oct. 24, 2 pm; Parliament Hill
o Power Shift Canada Lobby Day Rally; Monday, Oct. 26, 9 am; Parliament Hill
o Power Shift Canada National Press Conference; Monday, Oct. 26, 10 am; Charles Lynch Press Room, Parliament Hill
o Power Shift Conference; Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24 and 25, all day; University of Ottawa (press registration and assistance can be found in the Jock Turcot University Centre)

– Throughout the conference, international leaders such as Majora Carter, MacArthur “Genius”
Fellowship winner and exciting musical acts such as hip hop artists Dead Prez will energize the
conference participants.
– Youth will be filling up buses in Montreal, Halifax, Toronto, and Winnipeg to make their way to
Power Shift with the smallest possible carbon footprint.
– High school students in Whitehorse have been going door to door seeking donations to support
a Yukon delegation and to share their message of climate action with their fellow residents of
the Territory.
– Young people in Oshawa have mobilized a huge group of young people that have been affected
by the downturn of the Canadian automotive industry to rally around Power Shift’s message of a
new green economy.
– Youth from the tar sands affected communities of Northern Alberta will travel to Ottawa to share their first-hand experiences with their peers from across the country.
– Indigenous youth from across the nation, whose communities are far too often on the front lines of climate change impacts will bring their voices and passion to the gathering.
– An art gallery of work inspired by the Power Shift Principles will be on display at the University of Ottawa throughout the conference.


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