In February 2012, a group of young sustainability advocates embarked on a two-month cross-country tour, Dialogues and Action for Earth Summit 2012. They talked to Canadians about the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Earth Summit 2012, Rio+20) and the opportunity the conference presents.
The tour goal was to empower citizens by sharing the history of the United Nations Earth Summits and the Canadian role in them, educating about Rio+20 and how to get involved. It held the microphone to youth voice as the world accelerates towards Earth Summit 2012. Each event held at schools and universities included a combination of a presentation, a dialogue, and a workshop. During the tour, the attendants had an opportunity to send a letter to the Minister of Environment Peter Kent or their local Member of Parliament, describing their vision of the country at the Earth Summit 2012 and demanding that sustainability be a long-term commitment for Canada that begins now.
The tour headline speakers included members of We Canada: Victoria Wee, speaking in high schools and elementary schools; Aleksandra Nasteska, speaking in Universities starting in Montreal until the last tour stop in Vancouver; and Marie-Pierre Daigle, speaking in universities starting in Corner Brook until the tour mid-point in Ottawa. Full list of tour stops is available at the bottom of this page.
The tour also featured prominent guest speakers, including David Suzuki, keynote in Toronto at University of Toronto Scarborough Campus; Désirée McGraw, keynote in Montréal at Concordia University; and Ta’kaiya Blaney, guest speaker in several elementary schools. A full list of speakers is available at the bottom of this page.
The results from the dialogues facilitated during the tour will be included into a report that will be presented during the conference in June 2012 as Canadian civil society priorities and objectives for Rio+20. We Canada will also make this report available for download (and use) online, on this page, and via social media.
The total tour attendants rose to 7,837, of which 75 per cent were youth between the ages of 10 and 25. A total of 1,129 letters have been sent to political leaders, demanding that the Government of Canada makes a sustainable development a priority of the federal agenda for the Earth summit 2012 or ‘to not show up’ at the conference. During school events, students were not invited to sign the letter unless approved by a legal guardian.
In each city the touring troupe members were hosted by Canadian families, who made the experience all that much more amazing. We would like to thank our hosts for the logistic support, amazing food and even greater conversations and site seeing tours.
Check out the trailer of the documentary film shot during the tour!
List of stops, speakers and photos of the tour – click on the link to see the photos.
- 1. Corner Brook, Jan. 30, Memorial University Grenfell Campus
- 2. Halifax, Feb. 2, Kings College University
- 3. Moncton, Feb. 6, Université de Moncton
- 4. Québec, Feb. 9, Université Laval
- 5. Montreal, Feb. 15, Concordia University, Désirée McGraw
- 6.a. Ottawa, Feb. 14, Carleton University, Geoff Green
- 6.b.Ottawa, Feb. 15, University of Ottawa, foreword by His Excellency Piragibe dos Santos Tarragô, Ambassador of Brazil to Canada, speaker Philippe Crabbé
- 7. Kingston, Feb. 17, Queens University
- 8. Kitchener/Waterloo, Feb. 27, University of Waterloo, Amelia Clarke
- 9. London, Feb. 28, University of Western Ontario, Radoslav Dimitrov
- 10.a. Toronto, Mar. 1, University of Toronto, Raili Lakanen
- 10.b. Toronto, Mar. 5, University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, David Suzuki, guest-speaker introduction by Amber Mac
- 11. Winnipeg, Mar. 7, University of Winnipeg, Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox
- 12. Saskatoon, Mar. 12, University of Saskatchewan
- 13. Edmonton, Mar. 14, University of Alberta, Colin Soskolne, Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox
- 14. Victoria, Mar. 19, University of Victoria
- 15. Whitehorse, Mar. 21, Yukon College, John Streicker
- 16. Vancouver, Mar. 27, Simon Fraser University, address by Severn Cullis-Suzuki, panelists: Emmanuel Prinet, Kathryn Harrison, Sasha Caldera
We Canada Touring Troupe
(for the regional tour coordinators visit the Communications Page)
Aleksandra Nasteska, Communications Director
Aleksandra Nasteska is the co-founder and communications director of We Canada. She travelled as the tour headline speaker in universities and public events, from Montreal, Quebec to Vancouver, British Columbia (excluding Ottawa).
Victoria Wee, Youth Engagement Director
Victoria is We Canada’s Youth Engagement Director and the lead organizer of We Canada’s cross-country tour: Dialogues and Action for Earth Summit 2012. She travelled as the tour headline speaker in schools, from Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador to Vancouver, British Columbia. Victoria on Twitter.
Marie-Pierre Daigle, National Director
Marie-Pierre is the National Director of We Canada | Ensemble vers le Sommet. She travelled at the tour headline speaker in universities and public events, from Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador to Ottawa, Ontario (excluding Montreal).
Kristy Franks, Facilitator
Kristy Franks is one of tour organisers on the field. She joined the tour as a facilitator in Montreal, Kingston, Toronto, Vancouver and Yukon. Having graduated from the McGill School of Environment, Kristy presently works at Canada World Youth where she coordinates sustainable development projects including a Rio+20 initiative.
Alexandra Lucchesi, Facilitator
Alexandra Lucchesi is We Canada’s Editor in Chief. She joined the tour as a dialogue facilitator and logistics support for schools and universities in Kingston, Waterloo and Toronto. Alexandra was also overlooking the public relations for the tour.