News of climate progress here at home, across Canada and around the world. 
  • Stimulus funding to focus on climate
  • Cities, get your shovels ready. And worthy.
  • Rx for a healthy recovery
  • A new economic strategy for Canada
  • Divesting from carbon
  • Climate of the what now? 
  • Speaking of petitions...

Stimulus funding to focus on climate    

The calls for a clean recovery are growing louder, and in Canada, politicians seem to be listening. Here in BC, at a May 6 press conference announcing a strategy for easing public health measures, Premier Horgan stated: “Climate change continues to be the challenge of our time. The wildfire season is starting, and the flood season has not yet ended. And as we meet all of these challenges, we must recommit to putting Clean BC – our climate action plan – at the centre of our recovery.” 

Meanwhile, in an interview with Canadian Press, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna announced more than $3 billion for infrastructure projects, expected to include retrofits to health care facilities and schools, and improvements to active transportation such as cycling paths and pedestrian walkways.

Cities, get your shovels ready. And worthy.   

At the municipal level, this week the Union of British Columbian Municipalities (UBCM) sent a letter to Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson, asking for additional provincial funding for an infrastructure stimulus framework to assist in a post-pandemic recovery.

The UBCM letter asks that this funding prioritize “shovel worthy” projects over shovel-ready projects, and that the framework expedite release of federal funding under the Investing in Canada - Infrastructure Program.

Rx for a healthy recovery    

We don’t always consider the connection between climate and human health. But a growing number of medical professionals in Canada and around the world are pointing out that the ecological determinants of health – water, oxygen, food, fuel, climate – are the foundation that allows us to enjoy the social determinants – income, infrastructure, education, etc. 

In a recent webinar called The Role of Planetary Health in a Healthy Recovery, Dr. Courtney Howard and Dr. Yassen Tcholakov noted that we now have the opportunity to remodel the world to how it should be if we want the climate to be stable. Access the recording on YouTube

The webinar was hosted by Canadian Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). CAPE is petitioning the federal government to direct stimulus funding to actions that build a safe, healthy future for all. Everyone can sign CAPE’s Petition for a Healthy Recovery to add our voices to the call. 

CAPE webinars are held every Thursday from now through to the end of June. View the list and register

A final word on the subject goes to Dr. Guarab Basu, a primary care physician and Harvard instructor. 

A new economic strategy for Canada   

BASF Canada’s President Marcelo Lu and Corporate Knights CEO Toby Heaps offer a new vision for Canada’s economy, based on domestic production and export rather than the current model of harvest-and-send-away. 

An example they point to is Canada’s unusual capacity to produce and refine all the raw materials needed for the lithium ion batteries – which power everything from smartphones to electric cars. While we have all the raw materials, what we don’t have is the manufacturing bench strength to reap the full benefit of our Canadian resources.  

Lu and Heaps’ framework includes increased wages for workers at all levels, and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, painting a positive picture of a long-term plan for a post-pandemic recovery. 

Divesting from carbon   

This week, Norges Bank Investment Management, one of the world's largest investment funds, announced it would stop investing in four Canadian oil companies: Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Cenovus Energy Inc., Suncor Energy Inc. and Imperial Oil Ltd.  

The investment firm concluded the oil companies produce unacceptable levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

The announcement is the latest in a wolddivestment movement that is picking up momentum as universities, banks, businesses and investors commit to a low-carbon future. 

Climate of the what now?    

For anyone who has followed Michael Moore’s gutsy exposés of greed and corruption over the years, the recently released Planet of the Humans seems oddly out of sync with his earlier themes. Using outdated clips and what has been described as “gotcha journalism,” the film is a puzzling diatribe against green technologies as well as many established leaders in the environmental movement. 

Since its launch on Earth Day, the film has been gleefully celebrated by numerous climate deniers – which hopefully wasn’t Moore’s intention. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about it is that it has certainly spurred conversation and some soul-searching.  

Along those lines, here are a few articles you may find interesting:

And speaking of petitions…   

The date is set. On May 26, the Climate Hub will be presenting a resolution to Maple Ridge City Council asking that they set targets to reduce GHG emissions, create an action plan, and measure progress along the way to being carbon neutral by 2050.

We all need to let Council know that we want them to set ambitious goals and take meaningful action. If you haven’t signed the petition on our website yet, this is a good time!

You might get a scary security pop-up when you click or tap the link to the petition. We believe it’s because of extra code added by our email server, not an actual security issue. But if you’re concerned, copy and paste the URL into your browser to go directly to our website –

And tune in to watch the livestreamed Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26.

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