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Invitation to Participate in Climate Action Muskoka

For Immediate Release
January 20, 2020

MUSKOKA — The group Climate Action Muskoka (CAM) is inviting everyone in Muskoka concerned about climate change to get involved.

Inspired by student climate demonstrators in Muskoka and worldwide this past September, CAM is an inclusive, non-partisan group of Muskoka-based citizens with a shared commitment to working together to face the climate crisis.

The group’s broad mandate is to provide community support and work with municipalities to build a more resilient community as Muskoka transitions to a post-carbon future. The group will hold its 18th weekly climate strike in Bracebridge this Friday to raise awareness of the urgency of the issue.

Earlier this month an informal steering committee of about 24 CAM participants held its second meeting to get more specific about what urgent climate action in Muskoka might look like.

Attendees at our January 12 meeting.
Attendees at our January meeting.

“The scope of this crisis can feel overwhelming, and it’s so easy to just tune it out or to worry in isolation,” said Sue McKenzie of Gravenhurst. “But having been at these climate strikes, and seeing the expertise and the momentum in the room at our meetings, it’s clear to me that there’s a whole lot we can do. It’s truly heartening.”

The group plans to approach the District of Muskoka and its six Towns and Townships to support the push for a Climate Emergency declaration. More than a symbolic gesture, a Climate Emergency declaration is a formal acknowledgement of the seriousness of the climate crisis. It includes a commitment by the community to invest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to prioritize community resiliency while doing so. As of October, more than 460 municipal, provincial, and territorial governments across Canada have declared a Climate Emergency.

The group has agreed to form sub-committees to set additional goals and plan actions in the following areas:

  • Waste
  • Transportation
  • Food Security
  • Building
  • Water
  • Communications
  • Developing presentations to area councils
  • Gathering community endorsements for the Climate Emergency declaration

If you are interested in working with the group in one or more of these areas or just want further information, please email us at: climateactionmuskoka@gmail.com. State in the subject line which
committee you are interested in.

CAM’s regular Fridays For Future climate strikes continue at Bracebridge Memorial Park from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm on Fridays. The group is expanding the weekly strikes to Gravenhurst starting this Friday, January 24th at the Post Office from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Other Muskoka communities are to follow.

Visit us online at www.climateactionmuskoka.org. We’re also on Facebook and Instagram @climateactionmuskoka.

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Sue McKenzie | lensue@hotmail.com | 647-884-1531
Tamsen Tillson | tamsentillson@gmail.com | 705-645-5225

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How November 29 Climate Strike in Muskoka Went

Thank you to everyone who was able to come out to the Global—Muskoka—Climate Strike on Friday November 29 at Memorial Park in Bracebridge. Very moving speeches and music, including from 12-yo-activist Cailan Punnewaert, Aaron Rusak of the Muskoka Conservancy, BMLSS student organizer Kelsey Smith, plus an incredible original song by Bet Smith. Thank you to Tom Cowan for hosting and providing the inspiring playlist. (Lots of Spirit of the West…RIP John Mann!)

We were so pleased that Bracebridge Town Councillor Andrew Struthers was able to attend and tell us a bit about some of the great things Muskoka Watershed Council has been doing to prepare for, adapt to and to fight climate change. We’re looking forward to speaking further and supporting that good work.

Regarding numbers: my count was between 60 and 70, though fewer did the actual march down and up Manitoba. More than that passed through and offered their support though, as the 109 additional signatures added to the provincial petition and 99 signatures on the federal petition indicates. (Climate Action Parry Sound, we’ll get those back to you.)

We are back to our regular climate strike routine, every Friday from 11:30 to 12:30 with one IMPORTANT CHANGE. Please note that we’re now meeting at MEMORIAL PARK in Bracebridge. See you tomorrow!