Winnipeg activists are prepared to ask Canada's minister of environment and climate change the tough questions at a town hall Wednesday night.
For weeks, the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition has provided training sessions to get people ready for Catherine McKenna's stop in the city. McKenna has made stops across the country to get contributions from the public for a national climate strategy.
The town hall will have participants work through questions on four themes, but the coalition's Alex Paterson said they weren't geared toward the average resident.
"There are questions that only business people would understand like, 'How do we construct incentives to gain better market access in the global trade?' [That's] not something that I was even familiar with before kind of studying up on it," Paterson said.
That was why the two training sessions with around 55 participants were important leading up to the meeting, Paterson said. The coalition also created an online handbook for people who couldn't attend the training.
"One of the things that we have been doing is giving people like a nuts and bolts introduction to the current climate science, not kind of the old climate science back in Copenhagen, but the new stuff coming out of Paris," Paterson said, adding he's been training people for a few years.
"I am really just building the capacity of the community to actually talk about climate change and the associated economic issues."
The minister's effort to include people in the national strategy is an important step but there a major overhaul will be needed to generate significant change, Paterson said.
In the 2015 Paris Agreement, Canada committed to a long-term goal of limiting rising average global temperatures to within 1.5 C of pre-industrial levels.
"The clock is ticking on this one," Paterson said. "They need to take all of the information that they get here and pump out a climate strategy and pump out a carbon budget within a year so that we have a chance of bending the curve and actually meeting those aspirational commitments that we made in Paris, otherwise it was all just rhetoric."
The town hall takes place at the Canad Inns Fort Garry at 7 p.m. CT. Information about registering for the event can be found on the coalition's website.