Parliament of Canada

Two teenagers from Victoria are among seven youth across Canada who have joined together to send a legal demand to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The letter, hand delivered by a lawyer representing the strikers, demands Trudeau and his cabinet to “not violate the constitutional rights of youth to a healthy and safe environment by approving the Trans Mountain Pipeline”.

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13-year-old Rebecca Wolf Gage and 16-year-old Emma-Jane Burian have been attending and organizing regular climate strikes in Victoria, and now they’ve joined teenagers from London (ON), Hamilton (ON), Lindsay (ON), Winnipeg (MB), and Edmonton (AB) to send this legal demand to Ottawa.

“Whether we believe in it or not climate change affects all of us. So far climate change has had a more physiological effect on me then a physical one,” says Burian.

“The government’s actions are telling millions of young people like me and generations yet to come that we don’t matter. If we don’t put into action the solutions we have, then what are we teaching our children and what kind of world are we handing to them?”

The group and their lawyers specifically argue that the oil transported by the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion will produce more emissions than all of Ethiopia, significantly increasing global and Canadian climate risks and violating the youths’ rights.

Their demand is supported by an expert report written by Dr. James Hansen, former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Click here to read the full letters.

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