Media Releases

Climate strike a wake-up call, and politicians should listen

Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the youth-led climate strikes happening across Canada today:

“Today’s climate strike sends a wake-up call to Canada’s political leaders: the time to act, and to act more boldly, is now. I appreciate those federal political leaders who are attending these events, who are willing to hear directly from Canadians of all ages—led by our youth—that we must all step up and do more to address climate change.

“We often hear criticism of young Canadians—that they’re apathetic and disengaged. That’s not what I’m seeing today. I see kids with a clarity of purpose and the moral courage to demand that we don’t just do what we can on climate change, but that we do what we must. 

“I’m grateful for all of the kids, including my own, who organized today. Who made signs. Who marched together, with their friends and their parents. And who, it is clear, aren’t going to stop until we step up.”

Yesterday, we released a poll with Abacus Data, which found:

  • Across the country, 74% say that marches of students in different parts of the world calling for more action on climate change are a good idea. Women (78%), parents (79%) and those under 30 (82%) are especially likely to feel this way. It bears noting that a healthy majority of people over age 60 (68%) also support these marches.
  • A narrow majority of voters on the right of the spectrum (55%) express support for the marches, while 76% of voters on the centre and 85% of voters on the left feel they are a good idea.
  • Belief in the value of these marches is the majority view in every region of the country as well, including Alberta (63%).
  • Asked if they were or are a parent how they would feel about their child participating in such a march, 87% say they would support their child marching, including 48% who say they would do so happily, and 39% with some hesitation. Just 13% would refuse to let their children march, including 20% in Alberta and 24% of voters on the right.
  • One in five people (20%) say the student marches make them a lot more inclined to support climate action, and another 54% say “quite a bit” or “somewhat” more likely to support climate action. Another 14% say they already fully support climate action. Just 12% say the marches have the opposite effect on their opinion, including 28% of voters on the right of the spectrum.

The survey was conducted online using a random sample of 1,929 panelists invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

 The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.23%, 19 times out of 20.  The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.