Current Actions

Election Lawn Sign Campaign

  1. How To Get A Lawn Sign
  2. Why lawn signs?
  3. REAL Action On Climate Change: What needs to happen
  4. Our Political Parties' Climate Policies
  5. Help make climate change a key issue next election!
1. How to get a lawn sign

We're not currently distributing lawn signs across the country. If you are interested in obtaining one, please do send a message to lawnsigns@vtacc.org and we will be in touch if we ramp up this program again for the next election. If you live in Greater Vancouver and want a sign, contact us and we'll make arrangements to get one out to you.

We ask for a donation of $5 per lawn sign to cover our costs, payable by mail, Paypal ($6) or under the mat on delivery.

2. Why lawn signs?

Keeping global warming front and centre during the next election

VTACC wants to ensure that fighting global warming is in the minds of candidates at all times. We think that governments at all levels will only get serious about reducing emissions when they see that citizens will vote them out of power if they don't. We want candidates to know that they need to take this issue very seriously if we are going to give them our vote. Our REAL Action lawn signs let you express your sentiments from your yard, porch or window.

Making a statement and building community

We know that many Canadians are deeply concerned about the climate crisis and aren't sure how they can pressure government to take action. When we think we are isolated we feel powerless to make change.

People seeing these lawn signs realise they are not alone and that in fact they are part of a broad community that feels the same way and wants action. This is empowering, because real action on climate change is going to be driven by grassroots mobilization of citizens across the country. By taking a stand and planting a sign you will be encouraging neighbours who feel the same way to get active too!

By word of mouth, our REAL Action signs have spread across the country - from Halifax to Victoria, and from Yellowknife to southern Ontario.

3. What is REAL Action on Climate Change? [May 2012: Out of Date!]

Canadians have been way ahead of government for some time in wanting effective policies to reduce emissions and fight global warming. Rather than waiting and hoping that one of the national parties will step up and offer us a strong program of action, it is time for Canadians - business people, members of faith groups, environmental activists and all concerned citizens - to tell government what they need to do. One of the most important things we can do as citizens right now is encourage a race to the top, in terms of effective emission reduction policies, among all federal political parties.

Fortunately for those of us who aren't policy analysts there is a gathering consensus among business organisations and NGO's on those policies that are needed immediately to fight climate change. We have reviewed recent reports, we've talked to experts, and we've been in discussion with groups working on climate policy analysis advocacy in order to summarize these key policies below.

  1. Putting a price on carbon emissions in a way that doesn't hurt those least well of, using some combination of:
    • a national tax on emissions, with tax levels rising over time;
    • a transparent cap and trade program for large emitters, with the cap declining over time and permits auctioned by government;
    • a carbon management standard for fuel producers and importers, with the percent of carbon prevented from reaching the atmosphere increasing over time.
  2. Working with the most progressive jurisdictions in North America to require that vehicle manufacturers continually increase the percentage of their total sales that are zero and low emission vehicles (including vehicles for freight transportation).
  3. Working with the most progressive jurisdictions in North America to require that vehicle manufacturers adhere to a regular schedule of improved fuel efficiency standards.
  4. Developing continually improving federal appliance efficiency standards, and working with the provinces to establish continuously improving building and land use codes.
  5. Investing in the research and development of low and zero emission energy sources, energy conservation and efficiency, carbon capture and storage, and the enhancement of natural carbon sinks.
  6. Establishing permanent, ongoing federal funding for public transit and rail service and an end to federal funding for highway expansion.
  7. Working with the provinces to aggressively increase the percentage of renewable energy in utility power portfolios.
  8. Ensuring an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands production.

If the people lead, politicians will follow

The single most effective tool for change we have in this country is citizen engagement. If we work together we have the power make governments take action. Next election, ask your candidates about their stand on climate change and effective policies.

4. Federal Party Climate Policies [May 2012: out of date!]

If you want to determine which federal political party's policies are most likely to lead to real action on climate change right now, take a look at what they have to say so far:

Conservative Party:
http://www.conservative.ca/EN/4739/78192

Green Party:
http://www.greenparty.ca/en/policy/documents/gp2

Liberal Party:
http://www.thegreenshift.ca/default_e.aspx

New Democratic Party:
http://www.ndp.ca/node/4048

Here is a good recent third party analysis of these policies:

Sierra Club Climate Change Report Card
http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/vote-canada/2008/voters-guide-climate-crisis-election.pdf

5. Help make climate change a key issue in the next election!

Canadians want action on climate change. We need to make the candidates and the media know that many of us will be choosing our next government according to their climate policies. Here are three ways you can keep this issue on the agenda next election:

  • Make climate change an issue at town hall meetings. Organise your own on the topic!
  • Ask the candidates tough questions about climate change, their personal commitment to action, and their party's policies to reduce emissions.
  • Get the issue into the media -- write letters, comment online, write an op-ed -- tell your friends and neighbours that we have a key choice in the next election: action on climate change, or continued indifference as the world overheats.
  • Go to http://www.voteenvironment2008.ca/actnow for more suggestions on how to organise meetings, questions to ask and so on.