Edmonton, Alberta – Over 150 young environmental, labour and social justice activists from across Canada attended the third Canadian Youth Climate Coalition (CYCC) summit in Edmonton earlier this month, according to the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW). The summit, held at the University of Alberta, was organized to raise awareness on the environmental destruction caused by rapidly expanding tar sands in northern Alberta.
The goal of the summit was to establish a national campaign that mobilizes young people to call for an end to tar sands development and to promote an agenda for the creation of “green jobs”, defined as those that contribute to the production of goods and services that reduce carbon emissions, promote environmental sustainability and provide a living wage.
“Stopping the out-of-control development of tar sands in Alberta and Saskatchewan is one of the most critical environmental fights our generation must tackle,” said John MacDonald, CAW Local 222 youth committee member. “Young manufacturing workers in Canada are losing jobs at an alarming rate and many of them consider working in the tar sands as one of their few remaining options.”
Both NDP leader Jack Layton and Liberal Party leader Stéphane Dion addressed summit participants over the weekend event.