November 20, 2019

Youth climate strikers welcome North Van MP to new portfolio

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has 100 days to show he’s serious

MUSQUEAM, SQUAMISH, TSLEIL-WAUTUTH TERRITORIES – Organizers of the largest mass demonstration in recent B.C. history say Jonathan Wilkinson must show he takes the climate crisis seriously, or face serious disruption to his government’s agenda.

“I hope Minister Wilkinson will fight to implement the bold climate policies we need,” said youth organizer Harrison Johnston, a constituent in Wilkinson’s North Vancouver riding. “If he doesn’t, he should expect to be hearing from myself and the Sustainabiliteens quite regularly.”

The Sustainabiliteens are a collective of Vancouver-area high school students and recent graduates affiliated with Climate Strike Canada. Their Youth Climate Strike action in September brought out more than 100,000 marchers in Vancouver, according to police.

“How can Wilkinson show he’s serious? He can start by hunting down and cancelling fossil fuel subsidies in the first 100 days of his mandate,” said Kai Nagata, spokesperson for B.C. climate and democracy group Dogwood. “We cannot afford to give another dollar of public money to oil companies.”

The Trans Mountain pipeline and oil tanker terminal received $320 million in government subsidies in the first half of 2019, according to a report released yesterday by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. That’s on top of the $4.4 billion Ottawa spent to acquire the 65-year-old pipeline system.

The cost of expanding Trans Mountain was last pegged at $9.3 billion in August 2018. “We need to put that money directly into fighting climate change,” said Nagata. “Wilkinson’s job is to shut down taxpayer subsidies to oil companies, and the biggest one of all is Trans Mountain.”


For more information:

Harrison Johnston, Sustainabiliteens organizer

Kai Nagata, Dogwood communications director