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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(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

Pay parking station on 50A Street in Sylvan Lake. (File Photo)
Resident Parking program returns to Sylvan Lake this weekend

The programs runs from May 15 to Sept. 15 every year

Supporters gather during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop cafe in Mirror Alta, on Saturday May 8, 2021. The Whistle Stop was shut down by AHS for not complying with COVID-19 rules. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Police hand out tickets to dozens leaving anti-lockdown protest in Alberta

Hundreds gathered outside the Whistle Stop Café in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta.

Alberta’s environment department has known for years that toxins from old coal mines are contaminating populations of the province’s official animal, the bighorn sheep. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Craig Bihrl
Alberta government knew bighorn sheep contaminated with coal mine selenium, scientist says

Jeff Kneteman says Alberta Environment has known about the problem in bighorn sheep for years

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receives his COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccination in Ottawa, Friday, April 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
75% of Canadians need 1st vaccine dose to have more normal summer: Trudeau

The country is on track to hit a major milestone on the road to COVID-19 herd immunity Tuesday, with 40% vaccinated with a 1st dose

A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Alberta to stop giving first doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot as supply dwindles

There aren’t any confirmed shipments of AstraZeneca coming, and the province only has 8,400 doses of it left

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

File photo
Arrest made for armed robbery in Millet, Wetaskiwin RCMP continue to investigate

Wetaskiwin RCMP are investigating an armed robbery took place May 4, 2021 in Millet, Alta.

Dr. Karina Pillay, former mayor of Slave Lake, Alta., is shown at her medical clinic in Calgary on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
10 years later: Former Slave Lake mayor remembers wildfire that burned through town

Alberta announced in 2011 that an unknown arsonist had recklessly or deliberately ignited the forest fire

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman travelling from Alberta found dead in B.C. park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel’s approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

Wolf density in Jasper is low enough that the animals would not be expected to be a major threat

Most Read