Plaintiffs in Climate Case

15 Canadian Youth Launch Federal Climate Lawsuit to Protect Their Charter and Public Trust Rights

Canadian Youth Plaintiffs in Climate Lawsuit
Photo credit: Robin Loznak.

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Today, 15 young Canadians from across the country filed a lawsuit against the federal government of Canada for contributing to dangerous climate change.

The case argues the youth are already being harmed by climate change and the federal government is violating their rights to life, liberty and security of the person under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and for failing to protect essential public trust resources. The youth also allege that their government’s conduct violates their right to equality under section 15 of the Charter, since youth are disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change.

The youth, from seven Canadian provinces and the Northwest Territories, are represented by the law firms of Arvay Finlay LLP and Tollefson Law Corporation, and are supported by the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation (CELL), David Suzuki Foundation, and Our Children’s Trust.

The lawsuit calls on Canada to cease violating the youth’s Charter and public trust rights and prepare and implement a plan that reduces Canada’s GHG emissions in a manner consistent with what best available science indicates is needed for the federal government to protect young Canadians, do its fair share to stabilize the climate system, and avert the catastrophic consequences of climate change.

CELL is a partner in this lawsuit to train the next generation of public interest lawyers to become effective defenders of the environment and the rule of law. Using this lawsuit as a vehicle for experiential learning, students enrolled in CELL’s educational program will gain hands-on experience in developing and running complex public interest cases and develop competencies and skills relevant to public interest legal practice.

Support CELL in training tomorrow’s environmental defenders by making a charitable donation today through our page on

You can read the claim here.


Posted: October 25, 2019

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