To: The Government of Canada

National Citizens' Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice

National Citizens' Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice

Dear Prime Minister, please create and implement the recommendations of a national citizens' assembly on climate and ecological justice.

Why is this important?

The COVID-19 crisis has revealed that swift emergency action and systemic change in the long-term public interest is both necessary and possible. The United Nations has reported that the destruction of nature is the root cause of present and future global pandemics, and the Government of Canada acknowledges that the climate and ecological emergency will contribute to worsening public health crises, including the further spread of infectious diseases.

Climate change is rapidly outpacing scientific predictions, and the world is fast approaching tipping points that threaten abrupt and irreversible heating and biodiversity loss. Biodiversity loss and species extinction threaten human food systems. The climate crisis is predicted to lead to catastrophic economic losses and worsening political instability, affecting the most marginalized communities first and foremost.

The people of Canada should be able to directly participate in the environmental, economic, social and political decisions which affect their lives and those of future generations. Citizens’ assemblies are representative, democratic instruments well-suited to overcoming political deadlock and addressing complex problems. Citizens’ assemblies produce evidence-based public judgment, and are not equivalent to other forms of public consultation, such as town halls or referendums, which rely solely on the collection of public opinion.

Other G7 countries, such as France and the United Kingdom, have created national citizens’ assemblies on climate policy. So has the state of Washington. Since there exists a pre-qualified vendor of record with the Government of Canada, with expertise in the design and delivery of citizens’ assemblies (MASS LBP, masslbp.com), there is no reason for Canada not to do the same.