A painful reminder that we must act now – Amita Kuttner’s message on the anniversary of their mother’s passing

VANCOUVER – Today marks 17 years since I lost my mother and my home to a mudslide. It is unacceptable for the government to allow any of its citizens to suffer what my family and I have had to endure. The record rainfall that resulted in wide-spread flooding and landslides across B.C. served as a painful reminder that we must act now.

2021 was a year filled with climate disasters. Floods, heat and fires devastated communities across B.C., the territories and the prairies. The Atlantic provinces experienced an unusually high number of hurricanes while agricultural landscapes suffered drought conditions and extreme weather events that caused a severe decline in crop yields. 

As a result of a changed climate, we will continue to experience such weather events in coming years. It is vital for the government of Canada to get serious about addressing the climate emergency, and make resources available to mitigate and manage impending climate impacts. The government’s insufficient response to this year’s climate events also means that it has yet to commit the necessary resources and infrastructure required to help communities address and recover from disasters that all too many of them have experienced.  

We call on the government of Canada to carry out their climate, safety, and emergency preparedness commitments outlined in all their ministerial mandate letters, including elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, protection of old growth forests, and aggressive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Action on climate change impacts and disasters is required now, including research on improving and updating risk mapping as well as climate adaptation and mitigation measures and strategies. 

As I remember my mother today, I refuse to sit idly by while people continue to suffer the same fate. Insufficient action means risking everyone’s future; it means that the most marginalized and vulnerable will suffer and die. I see the pain from the loss of my mother and my home reflected in the experiences of my fellow citizens, and I call on the government to do everything possible to minimize the severity of the climate emergency. 

Amita Kuttner
Interim Leader
Green Party of Canada