Bail Out People, Not Polluters

April 3, 2020

Youth climate strikers, and environmental and democracy groups held a virtual rally today calling on Canada’s federal government to prioritize relief for workers and impacted communities rather than oil and gas companies.

Unceded Coast Salish Territories (VANCOUVER, BC) — Youth climate strikers, and environmental and democracy groups held a virtual rally today calling on Canada’s federal government to prioritize relief for workers and impacted communities rather than oil and gas companies.

Members of Parliament, including Elizabeth May, parliamentary leader of the Green Party, Laurel Collins, Environment and Climate Change critic, New Democratic Party of Canada, and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, MP for Beaches-East York, Liberal Party of Canada, joined the online rally to accept more than 56,000 petition signatures from Canadians opposed to a bailout of the oil and gas industry.

Chief Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Union of BC Indian Chiefs:

“This is a time for introspection for a lot of our people. There seems to be a government push to rely on Big Oil and dirty fossil fuel oil and gas. Pipelines continue to come through our territory. Construction is ongoing, telling us where the investment really is. There are other sustainable solutions in this world for clean energy and for a shift and look at ways of a re-generative economy, that includes Indigenous economy, which we are often left out of.

With the ongoing crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, we also don’t want man camps in our territories. There is already evidence that shows us that they lead to further violence against our women and our girls, and have devastating effects on our people, especially our most vulnerable.”

Alexandra Woodsworth, Dogwood:

“We need to support oil & gas workers as we do all workers who are trying to survive this economic storm. But Canadians will not accept a sweetheart deal for oil company execs and shareholders to protect Big Oil’s bottom line, and prop up a sunset industry. We need every single public dollar available to save lives, support communities and rebuild a cleaner, more resilient future.

Because that other crisisclimate changehasn’t gone anywhere. In this moment, when the global economy has been shuttered in humanity’s collective battle against COVID-19, governments must seize the opportunity to change course when it starts back up again. To put people back to work building massive solar and wind farms, not pipelines. To invest in the jobs of the future, not the jobs of the past.”

Tzeporah Berman,

“We desperately need responses from our decision makers that address the most vulnerable and address these inequalities.  At this rare moment in historyas we design stimulus packageswe have an opportunity to direct funds and efforts to rebuild and restructure so that our systems, our infrastructure is more resilient, addresses the multiple crises that we face and leaves no one behind.   

It means ensuring the safety of workers.  It means protecting remote communities and supporting Indigenous nations to create the systems that they need to protect their communities. We need to ensure that public funds are directed to support the public good.  That bailout packages are fair and tied to the future that we want to build and not the past that has created so much vulnerability.”

Emma-Jane Burian, Our Earth Our Future:

“I think that COVID-19 is a global tragedy and it has brought to light in a very real way some of the struggles we face as a society. COVID-19 has also reminded us of the power, and the light we bring to this world when we band together and decide to help each other.

I think it’s important to continue to hold rallies like this  because just as this pandemic has, and will continue to have drastic impacts on communities, and the economy, so will the climate crisis. As youth, this pandemic is not the last crisis we will face. And it’s going to take all of us together to solve these problems.”

Cherry Tsoi, Leadnow:

“There is no economic case for the tar sands. With the price of Canadian crude around $5/barrelthe cost of a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte – the oil and gas industry is on its last legs. 

Billions to line the pockets of Big Oil CEO’s, especially during the crisis of COVID-19, when frontline workers and their families need all our support, is downright irresponsible and unethical.” 

Sam LIn, Sustainabiliteens:

“We are at a crucial time — in the midst of a global pandemic and a climate crisis, we have the power to shape the world that emerges beyond this. As youth, we are bringing communities together to fight for the just future that we know is possible. Together, our voices are powerful, and we made our message heard: we must invest in the well-being of people, not big oil, starting today.

Gathering today, we demonstrated the power of unity across generations and the importance of following our Indigenous leaders. Collaboration is what drives progress, and I’m excited for the years of positive change to come.”

Watch a recording of the live streamed rally here


Media contacts: 

Sam Lin, Sustainabiliteens
604-889-7889 /

Emma-Jane Burian, Our Earth Our Future
778-967-4696 /

Cherry Tsoi, Leadnow
778-984-3492 /

Alexandra Woodsworth, Dogwood
778-316-5558 /

Sven Biggs,
778 882 8354 /