Government of Canada invests $6 million in climate action and education for young Canadians

News release

April 9, 2021 – Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canadians want clean air and clean water for their children and grandchildren. When companies pollute our natural environment, they pay the price and the Government of Canada ensures that environmental good follows environmental harm by investing those fines in projects that benefit the environment.

Today, Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced that the Government of Canada will invest $6 million in the Discovery Centre’s Inspiring Youth to Climate Action project. This Halifax-based science centre will partner with 30 science centres across the country to engage approximately 200,000 youth in every province and territory as they participate in innovative activities that will inspire them to take real action to fight climate change.

The Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund is the source of funding for this project under its Climate Action and Awareness Fund, which was created from the historic $196.5 million fine paid by Volkswagen for circumventing Canada’s environmental protection rules—the largest environmental fine in Canadian history.

For more than 35 years, the Discovery Centre has been offering unique interactive exhibits and experiments to spark interest in science and technology. Youth will participate in hands-on activities grounded in local climate research to foster a connection with their natural environment. This will give them the knowledge and skills to take climate action now and into the future.

Quotes

“Young Canadians are at the heart of our approach to creating a healthier future and building a cleaner economy. With the tools acquired through this important project, young Canadians will continue to be leaders in the fight against climate change in their communities across the country.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“We are proud to support the Discovery Centre. This local organization is a proven leader in creating innovative, science-based opportunities for youth. Seeing the impacts they have made in our city, I strongly believe that they, along with their partner organizations, have the ability to reach thousands of young people from coast to coast to coast.”
– Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Halifax

“By instiling an understanding of current and credible climate change science, the Inspiring Youth to Climate Action project will successfully drive the kinds of behavioural change and innovation necessary to achieve our net-zero target over the next 30 years.”
– Dov Bercovici, President and CEO, Discovery Centre Halifax

Quick facts

  • The Discovery Centre will work with science educators via the Canadian Association of Science Centres to reach more than 200,000 youth (kindergarten to grade/maternelle to CEGEP) in each province and territory.

  • The Discovery Centre is an award-winning interactive science museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is a not-for-profit charitable organization whose mission is to stimulate interest, enjoyment and understanding of science and technology.

  • The Climate Action and Awareness Fund, which was created with an investment from the Environmental Damages Fund and the Climate Action Fund, will invest a total of $206 million in projects that will build youth awareness, engagement and action; support community-based climate action; advance climate science and technology; and, support academia and think tank organizations.

  • The newly funded youth awareness and engagement projects will address knowledge and/or program gaps in the kindergarten to grade 12 (maternelle to CEGEP in Quebec) demographic in Canada. These projects will inform and engage youth in science based activities and learning opportunities to foster a connection with their natural environment and encourage real action to fight climate change.

  • The Environmental Damages Fund ensures that environmental good follows harm done by investing in projects that focus on environmental restoration, environmental quality improvement, research and development, and education and awareness.

  • The $196.5 million from Volkswagen is the largest environment fine in Canadian history—it is 26 times greater than the second-largest environmental fine.

Associated links

Contacts

Moira Kelly
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-271-6218
moira.kelly@canada.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
ec.media.ec@canada.ca

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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