Email your Councillors
Unfortunately, we don’t have the budget right now to afford the app that automatically sends emails on your behalf. Instead, we encourage you to find your councillor emails on the internet and copy the template message below into your email (feel free to edit it to make it your own!). To help us afford the auto-emailing tool, please consider donating to support our efforts. Thanks!
Dear [Mayor / Councillor LAST NAME],
I live in [CITY/TOWN] and I am deeply concerned about climate change.
I’m writing to you to share an idea that’s being advocated for in communities across Canada: climate change & air pollution information labels on gas pumps. The concept was developed by a Canadian non-profit called Our Horizon and has been endorsed by over a hundred academics and leaders in their field from a variety of disciplines at universities across North America.
On January 26, 2015, West Vancouver unanimously passed a resolution “… that all vendors of retail petroleum products in Canada be legislated to provide warning labels on all pump handles…”. Since then, Councils across Canada have endorsed the concept. The resolution was also supported by Mayors and Councillors from across B.C. when it was passed at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities in September 2015. Several weeks later, the City of North Vancouver became the first jurisdiction in the world to vote to implement the labels locally. Several other communities followed shortly thereafter and the idea is now also being pursued in a number of cities in the United States.
North Vancouver’s vote was covered in media across North America (see: CBC, Global News, CTV, VICE, The Atlantic, Business Insider, Climate Progress, Univision, etc.) and has been shared via social media all over the world. The idea is spreading and more communities are expected to follow their example of leadership in the coming months. To share these examples of leadership beyond our borders, volunteers across Canada have been building a global database of politicians so that Our Horizon can send a massive email about it to leaders from around the world.
I would like for our community to support the idea in one of two ways:
(1) Support a by-law to require the labels on gas pumps in our community. Our Horizon’s legal research is available here. Lidstone & Company, a local government law firm based in Vancouver, conducted a review of their legal report that concluded, “In our opinion, a requirement to place labels on gas nozzles could be validly imposed pursuant to a municipality’s power to regulate business.” Please read the full report at Our Horizon’s website for more information.
(2) Pass a resolution calling on the federal and provincial government to implement the concept. If you have concerns with respect to jurisdiction, this approach still advances the idea and supports Our Horizon’s advocacy with these orders of government. Oakville’s resolution in support is available here and can be used as an example.
To learn more about the idea, please read Rob Shirkey’s article in Municipal World titled, “Creating a New ‘Normal’: Using air pollution labels on gas pumps as a step in addressing climate challenges” or watch his 10-minute TEDx talk here. You can also watch his in-depth, hour-long lecture on the topic on YouTube here. Rob is a lawyer and founder of the campaign.
I would like to discuss this with you further at your earliest convenience. Please reach me by email so we can arrange a phone call or a conversation at your office.
[FIRST NAME, LAST NAME]