Ecojustice Blog – Climate change Posted on June 16, 2020 (updated: June 16, 2020)

Fighting to keep a landmark youth climate case alive

Devon PageLawyer
Ontario youth climate case clients
Photo by Emily Chan

Ontario wants to shut down a youth-led climate lawsuit. Ecojustice is helping the seven Ontarians leading the case fight back.

Last November, a group of young Ontarians launched a lawsuit against the provincial government. Backed by Ecojustice, they say that when Doug Ford’s government weakened the province’s climate targets in 2018, it violated Ontarians’ Charter rights to life, liberty, and security of the person.

Unfortunately, the province is trying to get the case dismissed. They say the courts aren’t the right forum for addressing the climate crisis, that climate impacts will play out so far in the future we can’t understand them now, and that the youth bringing the case can’t represent the interests of future generations.

In response, our clients say: If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?

As we helped our clients lay out in a factum filed yesterday, this fight cannot wait. We’re already on a dangerous climate trajectory. Waiting for the climate crisis to deepen further before taking action sets everyone, everywhere up to fail. The window of opportunity for high-impact action is right now.

Our clients know the consequences of inaction will be severe. Take Shelby, for example. Shelby is a 23-year-old Anishinaabe artist and community support worker. She spent her early childhood in Aroland First Nation and now lives in Thunder Bay, Ont.

As the world reeled from a global pandemic, Shelby coped by spending time on the land. Now, she’s fighting to make sure the climate crisis doesn’t rob future generations of the opportunity to form those same connections with the land.

The generosity of the Ecojustice community helped us launch this case. Now we’re calling on you to stand with Shelby and her fellow applicants again as they fight to keep it alive.

Learn more about what Shelby and her co-applicants are up against and how they are fighting back against the government’s attempt to shut down their case. Read the full factum here.

As the Ecojustice team prepares to head to court next month to make oral arguments about why this case should proceed, knowing you’re in our corner makes all the difference. Thanks for standing with us and we’ll keep you posted on what happens next.

Support this bold legal action

If it is within your ability to do so, please consider making a special gift today in support of this case. In litigation as hard-fought as this, every valued contribution is vital to sustaining our efforts.

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