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Youth Stop TMX

 

Media Release            For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 25th, 2019

 

Canada seeks to block youth climate strikers from Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline challenge

 

VICTORIA, EDMONTON, WINNIPEG AND HAMILTON - The Government of Canada, in documents filed in the Federal Court of Appeal, moved to block four climate strike organizers, aged 13 to 18, from challenging the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion. The government confirmed that of 12 applications challenging the government-owned pipeline, it was opposed only to the constitutional challenge filed by the youth to protect their future.

 

Olivier Adkin-Kaya (age 18, Edmonton), Nina Tran (age 18, Hamilton), Lena Andres (age 17, Winnipeg) and Rebecca Wolf Gage (age 13, Victoria) filed an application for leave to challenge the pipeline expansion. The four youth say that the Government of Canada is violating their rights, and the rights of other young Canadians, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to Life, Liberty and Security of the Person, and to Equality, by refusing to consider the more extreme climate change impacts of the pipeline on youth.

 

“I started the Victoria Youth Climate Strike because I had to tell my government that I cared about my future. But when the government didn’t listen, I knew I had to challenge them in court,” said Rebecca Wolf Gage. “My government is supposed to protect our future, but now they are trying to shut down our voices in court.” 

 

“I can’t believe that my own government doesn’t want me to be able to be heard in court,” said Nina Tran. “They don’t want the judges to consider whether the massive GHG emissions from the government’s own pipeline violate our rights and the rights of Canadians.”

 

“This government has consistently shown that they will put profit and pipelines, over the needs of the planet and people that they are supposed to protect,” said Lena Andres. “We have been striking for months now; by taking what we four youth think to be the next step in our fight for climate justice, we will be representing not only our beliefs on this topic, but the beliefs of the hundreds of thousands of youth striking across Canada.”

 

“How hypocritical it is, that the Canadian government declare a climate emergency soon before approving a pipeline expansion that would directly contribute to the likelihood of an unstoppable climate catastrophe. Funding the creation of more fossil fuel infrastructure is a step back in the necessary transition away from fossil fuels. For the sake of giving the new and future generations the opportunity to experience a life that the older generations have had, TMX must not be built” said Olivier. “It is beyond me why of all the parties filing judicial review decisions, Trans Mountain Corporation and the Government of Canada challenge that of the Youth — the party representing those who will be the first to experience the more severe effects of the climate crisis”

 

All four youth have been active in organizing climate strikes in their communities, modelled on the example of Greta Thunberg. Collectively they refer to themselves as Youth Stop TMX.

 

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UPDATE JUNE 29th: Youth Stop TMX now has a go fund me page