British Columbia

Young people taking climate change lawsuit to Federal Court of Appeal

A group of 15 young people will try again to have the courts force Ottawa to develop a climate recovery plan after it was denied by the Federal Court.

Legal action asks courts to force Canadian government to create climate recovery plan

Thirteen of the 15 plaintiffs suing the Canadian government over its role in climate change stand together on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery in this 2019 file photo. (Our Children's Trust)

A group of 15 young people will try again to have the courts force Ottawa to develop a climate recovery plan after it was denied by the Federal Court.

The youths have filed an appeal of the court's October decision that their claims don't have a reasonable cause of action or prospect of success so the case cannot proceed to trial.

They had argued the federal government's inadequate action on climate change is violating their charter rights to life, liberty and security of the person.

They said their right to equality is also damaged because the young are disproportionately affected by climate change.

They pointed to specific policies such as the federal government's support of fossil fuel through subsidies and the purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Justice Michael Manson said the courts should not be involved in what is a complex political matter.

Their lawyer Joe Arvay disagreed.

Documents filed with the Federal Court of Appeal say Manson was wrong to rule the issue wasn't appropriate for the courts.

The appeal goes on to say the judge erred in finding no reasonable cause of action and dismissing the claim without giving the plaintiffs a chance to amend it.

The youths are being supported by the David Suzuki Foundation, the U.S.-based non-profit group Our Children's Trust and the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation in British Columbia.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now