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

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Revelstoke’s Mayor Gary Sulz getting his COVID-19 vaccination on April 5. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke is leading B.C.’s interior on vaccinations: Interior Health

Approximately 70% of the community has first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services responded to a fire at the Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation site Feb. 11, 2021. It was the fourth fire at the facility since it was built in 2005. (Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services photo)
Future uncertain for City of Revelstoke owned company

RCEC is using a backup system to provide heating after a fire forced the facility offline

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal proposed two blocks of Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon’s ‘support local’ Main Street closure would cost city $24K, staff say

Bylaw costs, loss of parking revenue and equipment logistics behind price tag

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

Most Read