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

Alberta’a chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday that there are more than 328,000 vaccine appointments booked over the next seven days. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta surpasses 2 million doses administered of COVID-19 vaccine

Red Deer down to 835 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.
‘We did not unite around blind loyalty to one man’:Kenney faces internal call to quit

Senior backbench member Todd Loewen, in a letter posted on Facebook, called on Kenney to resign

Alberta continues to wrestle with high COVID-19 case numbers. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer up to 858 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports additional 1,799 cases of the virus

(Photo Courtesy of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools will not pilot draft curriculum

RDCRS is one of many divisions in the area to opt out of the pilot of the K-6 draft curriculum

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, watchdog says

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
Alberta RCMP investigating possible threat to police after Mirror rally

Online images show RCMP members, vehicles in crosshairs of a rifle

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

A youth plays basketball in an otherwise quiet court in Toronto on Saturday April 17, 2021. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on proven public health policy interventions including paid sick leave, and education rather than punitive enforcement measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during 2nd wave: CCLA report

‘A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis,’ reads the report

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Trudeau is rejecting accusations from Alberta’s justice minister that his federal government is part of a trio rooting for that province’s health system to collapse due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta justice minister sorry for saying feds, others rooting for COVID disaster

Earlier Tuesday, prior to Madu’s apology, Trudeau rejected the accusations

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

More than two million Canadians have received AstraZeneca and 17 have been confirmed to have VITT

Most Read