NWT residents call on MP McLeod to endorse ‘ambitious plan’ on climate change

Members of Our Time - Yellowknife started circulating the open letter in December at a protest at the Legislative Assembly, calling on MP Michael McLeod to support a Green New Deal. (Francis Tessier-Burns/CKLB).

Residents from across the Northwest Territories have signed an open letter calling on MP Michael McLeod to push for a Green New Deal in Parliament.

Our Time Yellowknife drafted the letter, which describes a Green New Deal as “an ambitious plan to tackle the climate crisis at the scale that science and justice demand, while upholding Indigenous rights and leaving no one behind in the transition to a green economy.”

Some of the signatories include Elder and former Smith’s Landing Chief François Paulette, artist Leela Gilday, MLAs Rylund Johnson and Kevin O’Reilly, and Jack Bourassa of Public Service Alliance of Canada North.

“The broad support for our letter shows the power of coming together to demand action from our leaders. Northerners are on the frontlines of the climate crisis and we want a Green New Deal, the only plan that meets the urgency of this crisis while making life better for everyone,” said Pretty Ngo, a youth organizer with Our Time Yellowknife, in a news release.

At the federal level, MP Peter Julian from B.C. has already put forward a notice to introduce a motion to support a Green New Deal.

Thomas Gagnon-van Leeuwen is another organizer with Our Time Yellowknife, and told CKLB that McLeod has agreed to meet with the organization next week.

McLeod previously told Northern News Services he “broadly” supports the goals, but stopped short of committing to a Green New Deal.

“While we’re glad Mr. McLeod says he shares our goals, we’re looking for him to accept this letter publicly, committing to govern for a Green New Deal,” said van-Leeuwen. He added, “Acting a seconder on MP Peter Julian’s M-1 Motion would be one way that Mr. McLeod could back up his promises.”

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis was a reporter with CKLB from January 2019 to March 2023. In his time with CKLB, he had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures.