Government of Canada invests in climate change awareness and action project for young Canadians

News release

April 8, 2021 – London, Ontario

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 reinvesting those fines in projects that will benefit our environment.

Today, Kate Young, Member of Parliament for London West, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced that the Government of Canada is investing $5.9 million from environmental fines into Let’s Talk Science. With this funding, Let’s Talk Science will engage over 600,000 youth across Canada in climate science awareness and action through regional events, action projects, hands-on activities and a suite of digital resources, including career information.

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.

This project will build knowledge about climate science and a commitment to action amongst children and youth in Canada. In partnership with the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), including members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Let’s Talk Science will engage diverse experts in the development of youth events, volunteer and educator training, action projects and resources.

The partnership between Let’s Talk Science and the RSC is unique, linking together education and scientific research excellence. Let’s Talk Science and the RSC share a commitment to local, community-based action. All activities and events in this project are locally relevant and will be accessible to children and youth from coast to coast to coast regardless of geographic location, age, cultural background and official language.

With this investment from the Government of Canada, Let’s Talk Science and the RSC will provide youth with meaningful opportunities to make informed decisions and develop the skills they need to succeed in the future.


We are thrilled to support another innovative project from Let’s Talk Science that educates and empowers youth. I know that youth in London and across the country are interested and engaged, and this new climate project will allow them to learn about climate science, and encourage them to take action to reduce the effects of their behaviours and those of their families on the environment.”
– Kate Young, Member of Parliament for London West

“By engaging experts from science, engineering, and the humanities and social sciences, we will ensure that Canadian youth are inspired and equipped to examine the impacts of climate on their lives, now and in the future. This can give children and youth the capacity to assess and mitigate risk, and contribute their own behaviours and actions.”
– Dr. Bonnie Schmidt, President and Founder of Let’s Talk Science

“The partnership with Let’s Talk Science is such a great fit for the RSC. This is an amazing opportunity for the RSC community to connect with youth across Canada, sharing knowledge and expertise across disciplines and across generations so that, together, we can all work to build a better country and a better future through education and action.”
– Dr. Jeremy McNeil, RSC President

Quick facts

  • The $206 million Climate Action and Awareness Fund (CAAF) was created through funding from the Environmental Damages Fund and the Climate Action Fund.

  • CAAF has four streams: community-based climate action, advancing climate science and technology, supporting academia and think tank organizations, and the youth climate action stream, which this project is funded through.

  • Let’s Talk Science is a national charitable organization committed to inspiring and empowering children and youth of all ages in Canada to develop the skills they need to participate and thrive in an ever-changing world.

  • Founded in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) comprises established leaders across the Academies of Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences as well as emerging leaders in the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Associated links


Moira Kelly
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Sarah Hogeveen
Manager, Communications
Let’s Talk Science
Devin Munro
Office of Kate Young M.P.

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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