BLUESKY BRIEF - August 23rd

Last week, four young climate activists pointed out in an essay in The New York Times, that despite the UN’s “code red for humanity,” youth have been sounding the alarm for years and adults just aren’t listening and taking enough action.

Climate change was a huge issue in the 2019 campaign and even with all the forest fires and drought conditions taking place right across this country, it is barely getting a mention so far in this campaign. Why? Let’s find out…

From the desk of Cameron Holmstrom, Consultant

This past year of COVID has focused people’s minds on many different issues that have become more important to them. This experience has pushed many to think about the future, both short and long-term. That’s affected some issues more than others, making a big impact on people’s lives and voting intentions.

One of those issues is climate change, especially over this summer as we’ve seen record heat waves, devastating droughts and massive forest fires wreaking havoc from coast to coast to coast. We’ve seen entire communities, like Lytton in British Columbia, where wildfires wiped it the map merely days after they set the Canadian single-day heat record, only to break it twice more in the following two days. These are scenes that are telling all Canadians that we must act now to have any hope.

You’d think that witnessing all of this on the evening news would mean that it would be featured in the discourse of the current federal election. Instead of being a centrepiece of this campaign, it’s been largely absent from the discussions. There are many reasons why that could be the case, but regardless of why I don’t expect it to continue. The fact remains that the largest cohort of voters in this campaign are millennials, and for the majority of them, the absence of real action to tackle climate change now is a deal-breaker.

It would be political malpractice to continue that silence, which is why I believe it will feature sooner than later. The youth vote and their turnout are too important for the Liberals and the NDP to ignore the matter. Sometimes events in the World sidetrack other issues, but events keep happening. Climate change will feature in this campaign, even if it takes a bit longer than we might have expected.

From the desk of Hussain Shorish, Senior Consultant

Back in 2019, climate change was the central issue in the federal election with most polls, if not all, indicating that having an ambitious climate plan was top of mind for Canadians. The result of that election showed how voter behaviour has evolved over the years and that Canadians favoured parties that can deliver on a climate plan that can fight climate change and protect the environment.

Albeit, it has been a slow start to the 2021 Federal Election, climate change will dominate the discourse in the coming weeks leading up to the leaders’ debate. With increasing wildfires and recent droughts, investments, and support for the communities most affected will be top of mind for all party leaders. Annamie Paul has proposed an Emergency Leaders Debate on Climate Change. Whether the rest of the leaders will take her up on her offer is doubtful, especially Mr. Trudeau, who can simply campaign across the country on the government’s 2020 Climate Plan which included 64 new measures and $15 billion in new investments.

As for the Conservatives, their “Secure the Environment” plan released in April, leaves much to be desired. Especially their “Personal Low Carbon Savings Account” policy which was labelled as “new” and “not a tax” yet with a closer look it's an uninspiring policy proposing to add more bureaucracy and establishes lower targets than the Liberal government’s carbon-pricing program. Oh, and let’s not forget gift cards/points in exchange for rebates rather than sending the checks to Canadian families so they may spend on their basic needs. It’s difficult to imagine Mr. O’Toole inspiring voters on the Conservative climate plan considering the relatively great strides the Liberals have made over the last two mandates in preparing the Canadian economy for a zero-carbon future.

FRIDAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT - 10 days of paid sick leave for federally regulated workers and help Canadians return to work and school safely.

SATURDAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT - protecting old growth forests in British Columbia

FRIDAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT - unveiled the Canada Job Surge Plan, a key part of the party's Canada’s Recovery Plan.

SATURDAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT - released plan to break down barriers for Canadians living with disabilities.

SUNDAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT - introduced plan to address the opioid crisis as a national emergency and help Canadians struggling with addiction.

FRIDAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT – promised to work with Indigenous communities to find every child.

SATURDAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT - vows to make housing more affordable in Canada.

Conservatives fight Justin Trudeau’s sex appeal with whatever the hell this is

From our friends at the QP Briefing and for those living in Ontario

Interactive: Find the vaccination rates around every high school in Ontario

Here is where you can expect the leaders to be today (all times in Eastern):

Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada will be in Halifax, Nova Scotia to make an announcement at 8:30 am and he will then head to St. John's Newfoundland and Labrador to meet with locals and supporters.

Erin O’Toole, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is in Ottawa, where at 11 am he will make an announcement and hold a media availability. He will then hold a virtual telephone town halls with residents from Ontario and Manitoba.

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the NDP is in Montreal, where he will make an announcement on climate change at 9:15 am. After that, he will visit local businesses with the NDP candidates for Rosemont-LaPetite-Patrie and Papineau.

Annamie Paul, Leader of the Green Party of Canada is in Toronto, where she will hold a press conference on the "culture of federal politics" at 2:30 pm.

Yves Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Quebecois begins his day in Trois-Rivières, where he will hold a press conference on ethics at 9:35 am. He’ll have another press conference at 1:40 pm on wage subsidies and political parties at Parc des Roseraies in Anjou

Our first podcast of the #elxn44 campaign is now out. If you haven’t had the chance to check it out, make sure you do.

About Bluesky Strategy Group

Bluesky Strategy Group Inc. is a full-service public affairs firm with nearly two decades of extensive experience working with clients - from corporate, not-for-profit, and national associations, to governments, departments and agencies. We provide our clients with government relations, strategic communications and media relations advice and execution. Bluesky’s team can help you. Reply to this email to be connected with our team.

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