Our History

Check out our “Inside the Campaign” interview with our founder to learn how we got started.

Our Horizon is a national not-for-profit climate change organization that empowers people and communities across Canada to change the world.

Our campaign to get climate change labels on gas pumps was launched in early 2013 by Toronto-based lawyer Robert Shirkey. Rob has worried about climate change since he first learned about it in early high school. In the summer of 2012, before his grandfather passed away, his last words to Rob were, “Do what you love.” Those words encouraged Rob to leave his practice to explore an idea for a simple, low-cost climate change intervention he had several years ago.

Since launching the campaign, our work has been featured in media around the world. Over a hundred academics from disciplines including the natural sciences, social sciences, public policy, health, and business at universities across North America have all endorsed our campaign and communities in Canada and the United States are now pursuing the concept. It’s really incredible to think how far we’ve come without any funding or staff. We’re now looking for partners to support our work so we can expand our efforts and make this concept go global.

History in the making… selected milestones:

>> May 16, 2016: Kitchener’s Council voted to recommend to “the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau and the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario… that all vendors of retail petroleum products in Canada be legislated to provide warning labels on all pump handles.”

>> March 1, 2016: Vaughan’s Council voted unanimously to direct staff to research climate change labels for gas pumps and “if jurisdiction can be reasonably argued, that a plan be developed to permit the City of Vaughan to proceed in prioritizing this initiative within its borders.”

>> February 15, 2016: Parksville’s Council voted unanimously to direct staff to consult with Vancouver Island local governments and provide a report to Council about the possibility of mandatory labelling of gas pumps.

>> November 24, 2015: Tofino’s Council voted to “… amend the business licence bylaw requiring retailers of petroleum products in the District of Tofino to provide plastic sleeves (nozzle toppers) with warning or information labels on pump handles for all fossil-based liquid fuels.”

>> November 16, 2015: North Vancouver Council unanimously passed a by-law to implement climate change information labels on gas pumps. It was a global first that was covered by media like CBCGlobal News, CTVVICE, The Atlantic, and more. These stories were shared around the world by social media with many people calling for similar labels in their own jurisdiction.

>> November 3, 2015: Vancouver Council unanimously voted to approve its Greenest City Action Plan, which includes the priority action to “Investigate labeling gas pumps for their GHG and air quality impacts.”

>> October 27, 2015: Port Moody Council voted that “all vendors of retail petroleum products in Port Moody be required to provide warning labels on all pump handles, at the expense of the vendor.”

>> October 26, 2015: Pickering Council passed a resolution in support of climate change labels on gas pumps.

>> October 18, 2015: The Association of Francophone Municipalities of New Brunswick, a group made up of 53 member municipalities, voted in support of climate change labels on gas pumps. Please check back here soon for more details on the wording of the resolution – thanks!

>> September 25, 2015: Mayors and Councillors from across British Columbia voted at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities “that UBCM support, and that member local governments will implement where possible, legislation to require retailers of petroleum products to provide plastic sleeves (nozzle toppers) with warning labels on pump handles for all fossil based liquid fuels.”

>> September 14, 2015: Waterloo’s Council unanimously votes to support the FCM resolution “that all vendors of retail petroleum products in Canada be legislated to provide warning labels on all pump handles.”

>> July 20, 2015: Oakville’s Council unanimously votes to back the FCM/AMO resolution for climate labels on gas pumps across Canada/Ontario. They also went a step further by voting to directly request the “Prime Minister of Canada, the Premier of Ontario, and local MPs and MPPs” to implement the labels across Canada/Ontario.

>> June 15, 2015: Council in the City of North Vancouver, BC unanimously votes to “to bring forward a bylaw to include that warning labels be placed on all gas pumps within the City of North Vancouver, cautioning consumers about the effects of climate change.”

>> May 25, 2015: Council in the City of Guelph, Ontario votes to support West Vancouver’s Federation of Canadian Municipalities resolution for climate change labels on all gas pumps across Canada. Also votes to advance the proposal via the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

>> April 20, 2015: Council in the City of Moncton, New Brunswick unanimously votes for climate change labels on gas pumps. Watch 14-year-old Hayley Touchburn’s compelling 5-minute speech to her Council on Youtube.

>> April 11, 2015: The Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities, a regional body made up of 51 member municipalities voted to “support, and will implement where possible, legislation to require retailers of petroleum products to provide plastic sleeves (nozzle talkers) with warning labels on pump handles for all fossil based liquid fuels.”

>> March 1 & April 1, 2015: Municipal World, the most influential publication in Canada’s municipal sector, publishes Rob Shirkey’s articles on our project. The magazine is read by councillors and staff across the country. [Download March article and April article].

>> February 23, 2015: District of Saanich Council votes to support West Vancouver’s resolution to require climate change labels on gas pumps across Canada. Several British Columbia municipalities pass similar resolutions in the following weeks.

>> January 26, 2015: West Vancouver Council unanimously passes a resolution “that all vendors of retail petroleum products in Canada be legislated to provide warning labels on all pump handles (pump talkers).”

>> [We are currently updating this page...]

 

Back to Top