Last week, Nature Canada coordinated our third annual Nature on the Hill event and although it looked completely different than in years past – one thing stayed the same: MPs heard loud and clear that protecting nature matters to Canadians from far and wide.
Making our voices heard
Together we coordinated 35 meetings with decision-makers and Members of Parliament and engaged over 65 people from nature groups across the country. Thousands of individuals took action to amplify our message and hundreds attended our virtual Town Hall with federal Ministers Bernadette Jordan and Jonathan Wilkinson.
Last week was an opportunity for everyone to show their support for protecting nature, Indigenous-led conservation, and to urge the government to invest in these priorities. There were national, provincial, and local nature groups taking part and having meetings with MPs from all political parties. Our supporters and members also spoke up in delivering a key message: that we need investments in Budget 2021 in order to make this year a turning point for nature.
Inspiring highlights from the week
Even though the pandemic kept us from visiting Parliament Hill and gathering in person, all participants felt connected in our mission. On Tuesday, we gathered for an orientation session where our honoured guest speaker, Valérie Courtois the Director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, spoke to us about the Land Needs Guardians campaign and discussed with participants how to practice allyship as we advocated that the government invest in Indigenous-led conservation efforts and programs.
Groups shared with us that they emerged from the week with a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration. Participants shared a feeling that from coast-to-coast-to-coast we are united in “doing our part” to raise the profile of protected areas and nature conservation.
We also heard that many participants met new people that have the same goals as they do – to bring the wonders of nature to new communities. There are already new partnerships among Nature Network groups that have been born out of this virtual experience.
Watch the event recording here:
All eyes on Budget 2021 for nature
As we head into March, we’re watching developments around the federal budget closely to make sure it makes room for nature. Canada needs to invest now in order to meet the important targets of protecting 30% of land and freshwater, and ocean by by 2030. By investing to protect more habitat and supporting Indigenous-led conservation efforts, we can give species in Canada a fighting chance and have hope for a more nature-positive and equitable future for all.
If you haven’t yet, you can still send your own letter to the Minister of Finance and your Member of Parliament urging them to #MakeRoomForNature in Budget 2021.