Canadian Youth Delegation walks out on meeting with Canadian negotiating team

(Cancun, Mexico) December 10, 2010 Frustrated with Canada’s obstructive role in UN climate negotiations, and with the unwillingness of Canada’s government to represent the majority of Canadians who want action on climate change, members of the Canadian Youth Delegation walked out on the morning federal government delegation briefing after expressing their discontent with Canada’s negotiating team.

“It’s increasingly clear that our country is not a leader and is not prepared to be. I’m ashamed of that every day,” said delegation member Stephen McGlenn to the Canadian negotiating team. “We are a country that could do so much and yet your delegation isn’t even content to follow the majority of countries here in Cancun.”

The Youth Delegation’s frustration was echoed by several other representatives of Canadian civil society who also walked out on the briefing.

“It is extremely disconcerting that the Canadian government can so easily ignore the cries from millions of Canadians for climate action. In a time of crisis, instead of being accountable to the public will, the government is choosing inaction on the most important and pressing issue of our time,” said youth delegate Maggie Knight.

Recent telephone polling in Canada shows more than 80 per cent of Canadians agree that Canada and other developed countries should take the lead in reducing emissions, and the federal government should be investing in green jobs while having transition programs for workers and communities impacted by an end to our reliance on fossil fuels.

“This government needs to start listening to and working for the people of Canada instead of promoting the interests of industry,” said delegation leader Amber Church. “That’s why we told the Canadian negotiators to ‘stop pandering to the will of the fossil fuel industry, and start listening to the voices that you claim to represent.’”


For more information contact Emilie Novaczek

Phone (Mexico): 011 (52) 1 998-141-5815


The Canadian Youth Delegation (CYD) includes diverse youth from across the country who are concerned and active on the issues of climate change. The Delegation aims to engage Canadians, mobilize youth, and provide communication that makes theses global challenges and negotiations accessible. This year 29 young Canadians travelled with CYD to the United Nations climate negotiations in Cancun. Learn more and see their progress at

2 Responses to “Canadian Youth Delegation walks out on meeting with Canadian negotiating team”
  1. David Field says:

    There is a very simple solution to the problem. Canadians in the next election must do everything they can to elect a party that best represents what the majority of Canadian voters want, and whichever party you choose should be given a majority to govern. There should be a senate reform to vote in members and not appoint them. In this way they are accountable to the populace of Canada. This is the way that democracy works. If you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain. If you voted Conservative before then change your vote in the next election. Just sayin.

  2. Daniel Tourigny says:

    I agree with what’s said and at the same time give 0 chance of the government/country doing anything but promoting the social values perceived as most important by most people, at which money is at the top. It’s even above not killing, because we can get others to kill for us and not see it in our everyday lives and so pretend it doesn’t happen.

    Ethics just get in the way of making money and so have had to be thrown out. (Of course, it has to still appear that ethics matter because people in denial want it to appear so, heaven forbid their belief is shown to be incorrect. If they’re wrong about one belief, then that opens the door to every single belief they have — a very slippery slope. I started down that slope a while back and experienced a bumpy ride myself. I can understand why people choose not to go down it.) It makes sense Canada’s not the “leader” it might have once been, because it’s not good for the economy.

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