One of the plaintiffs, 17-year-old Zoe from Vancouver, said she doesn’t want climate change “to take over (her) entire life or for future generations to suffer.” (Erik Nordby)

One of the plaintiffs, 17-year-old Zoe from Vancouver, said she doesn’t want climate change “to take over (her) entire life or for future generations to suffer.” (Erik Nordby)

15 youths not backing down in their fight to sue Ottawa over climate change inaction

The group has filed an appeal after their lawsuit was struck down by a Federal Court judge last fall

Fifteen Canadian youths are asking Ottawa to hear their collective plea – greenhouse gas emissions have caused serious harm to children, they say, and it’s time the government is held accountable.

Ranging from 11 to 20 in age and representing seven provinces and one territory, the plaintiffs are appealing a Supreme Court decision that saw their lawsuit dismissed last fall.

The group alleged decades of climate inaction by the government have caused them “physical and psychological harm” due to unsafe levels of carbon emissions.

A Supreme Court judge struck down their claims, saying it would force “judicial involvement in Canada’s policy response to climate change.”

WATCH: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

“If emissions are not reduced urgently, catastrophic impacts will be inevitable,” reads their May 3 filing in Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal.

One of the plaintiffs, Zoe from Vancouver, said she doesn’t want climate change “to take over (her) entire life or for future generations to suffer.”

The 17-year-old has experienced the physical discomfort of breathing wildfire smoke and feared for the safety of ecosystems she depends on for clean water, air and food. Canadian scientists have found that human-induced climate change played a significant role in B.C. wildfires.

RELATED: 15 Canadian youths to sue Ottawa for not acting on climate change

The youth are demanding a comprehensive government plan to reduce emissions.

The group is being supported by the David Suzuki Foundation, U.S. non-profit group Our Children’s Trust and Victoria’s Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation.

As the David Suzuki Foundation states, “the federal government is violating their rights to life, liberty and security of the person under Section 7 of the Charter and failing to protect essential public trust resources.”

“The government’s conduct violates their right to equality under Section 15 of the Charter since youth are disproportionately affected by the effects of the climate emergency.”

Oral arguments in the Federal Court of Appeal will be scheduled later this year.

READ MORE: Students skip school, join climate strikes across B.C.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Climate changeCourt

Just Posted

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

RCMP vest
Penticton beach brawl results in one arrest but no charges

People took to social media after a fight broke out at the fire pits at Okanagan Lake Saturday

Vernon local Ryan Lazar – who specializes in 2D background design and 3D animation – is ready to start his career after a tough yet rewarding two years of studies. (Contributed)
Okanagan College students get animated at graduation

‘The pandemic has resulted in more video consumption and the animation industry is so hot right now because of it’

Road work is underway in Penticton so traffic controllers are asking drivers to be aware. (Submitted)
Message to Penticton drivers: Slow down and pay attention in Cone Zones

Over the last 10 years in B.C., 12 roadside workers died and 207 were injured

Meghan Thompson and her daughter Kennedy Lanteigne were awarded bravery awards on Saturday for helping to save the life of a baby drowning off a Naramata beach last June. (Submitted)
Penticton mom and daughter receive bravery awards for saving baby from drowning

Off duty Penticton fire captain also awarded for saving the boy’s life last summer in Naramata

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Barriere RCMP nabbed two suspects who were allegedly breaking into cabins in McLure. (File photo)
Thieves nabbed by Barriere Mounties during McLure break-ins

Police Service Dog Kody instrumental in making the arrest

(File photo)
Repeated cougar sighting on Okanagan Rail Trail

Plenty of bear sightings around the valley too

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

A single motorcycle parked outside of the Kelowna Hells Angels clubhouse at 837 Ellis Street on July 9, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna Hells Angels prospect sentenced to 9 months in jail for aggravated assault

Colin Michael Bayley pleaded guilty to the downtown Kelowna assault earlier this month

Salmon Arm RCMP seize a handgun, drugs and cash at a Silver Creek property on Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Police seize handgun, drugs and cash at a Shuswap property

Salmon Arm RCMP said warrant for Silver Creek revealed cannabis, possible cocaine, magic mushrooms

Vernon Search and Rescue, along with Shuswap members, rescued three kayakers near Lumby Sunday, May 16, 2021. (VSAR Instagram)
3 kayakers rescued in North Okanagan

Shuswap, Vernon search and rescue teams make swift-water rescue Sunday

Most Read