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

The City of Surrey partnered with the Work Zone Safety Alliance last year to remind drivers to slow down in construction zones. (File photo)
White Rock, Surrey motorists asked to slow down in ‘cone zones’

Provincewide campaign encouraging residents to be mindful of construction workers

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale in 2020. A new exhibit about FVHRS and Surrey’s train history opens at the Museum of Surrey June 2. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
New exhibition on Surrey’s train history to open at Museum of Surrey

Separate two-day event welcomes kids June 25-26

A new DPD team began targeting gang-related activity on May 15, including checking on individuals who must abide by curfews and conditions. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police taking action to address gang conflict

Three-pronged strategy focused on interdiction, investigation and prevention

Semiahmoo First Nation archeology manager Don Welsh (left) sifts through shell midden at a Crescent Beach site in August 2019. (File photo)
Semiahmoo First Nation to repatriate 200 ancestors

B.C. grant funding return of remains from Simon Fraser University

File photo: Tom Zytaruk
Surrey cops investigate shooting overnight at Whalley home with long history of gunshots

Police received reports about shots fired at a house in the 10800-block of 139A Street at about 4:15 a.m. Sunday

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

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

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

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

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

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(Vancouver Police Department)
Vancouver police expect violence to escalate, ID 6 gangsters who pose ‘public safety risk’

VPD asking public to stay away from these six people, who they say may be targeted in shootings

Most Read