Governments aren’t taking responsibility for climate change’s human health catastrophe. These changemakers are forcing them.

Two court cases, in Ontario and B.C., are trying to force Canada to better protect the health of its residents from climate change.

Why It Matters

Governments are reluctant to commit billions of dollars for bold, urgent climate adaptation efforts unless forced by courts or activism. This process isn’t easy, but there are strategies to pressure powerful institutions to address human health.

This journalism is supported by the Future of Good editorial fellowship on climate change and human health, supported by Manulife. See our editorial ethics and standards here.

Shaelyn Wabegijig was caught in an analogy of climate change in the summer of 2022: a freak storm in Hiawatha First Nation of wind and rain and severed tree branches scattered everywhere. On a drive to a powwow, the 25-year-old Algonquin woman and member of the Caribou Clan watched a tree topple in front of the car ahead of her. Another tree blocked her exit, 10 cars back. 

This storm knocked out power for days near the Ontario city of Peterborough. Wabegijig and everyone else on the road that day weren’t able to leave until the trees were pushed aside. The analogy to climate change, and its horrific toll

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