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‘If we don’t, who is?’: Canadian adventurers focus on climate change awareness – Global News

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‘If we don’t, who is?’: Canadian adventurers focus on climate change awareness – Global News


Professional adventurer Greg Hill was skiing in Pakistan five years ago, when he got caught in an avalanche and broke his leg.

As he healed, he reflected on what legacy he would have left behind had he died.

Hill had climbed hundreds of mountains, skied millions of vertical feet and documented many of his adventures in Canada, South America, Norway and Pakistan.


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How to take the environment into account while travelling

“It was awesome — I was encouraging people to push deeper,” Hill said in an interview. “But it was the selfish 30-year-old adventurer. It was all about my own stuff and what I can do.”

Now a father in his 40s living in Revelstoke, B.C., Hill wanted to do “something that can be learned and taken and adopted by others and help improve the world.”

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He’s one of a growing number of Canadian adventurers — including ice climber and paraglider Will Gadd, retired ski cross Olympic gold medallist Ashleigh McIvor and alpine ski racer Erik Guay — who have come to focus on the environment.






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Rain and snow hammers southern B.C. during start of holiday season


Rain and snow hammers southern B.C. during start of holiday season

They’re all ambassadors for Protect Our Winters Canada, a non-profit advocacy group based in Waterloo, Ont. It’s made up of outdoor enthusiasts, professional athletes and sporting brands trying to get governments to take action on climate change.

“Our overall goal is to unite and organize the outdoor community,” said Dave Erb, the group’s executive director. “As people who enjoy spending time in nature and recreating in nature, it really should mandate our participation in the fight to save and protect it. If we don’t, who is?

“We’re the ones who see the changes but also have a deep connection to these landscapes and these magical places.”


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Erb said the group’s ambassadors can help influence how others think about climate change, but find themselves in a hypocritical situation.

“They love going and exploring and living this adventure-based lifestyle, but they also know their carbon footprint is big.”

Hill said that was exactly his thinking.

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‘If we don’t, who is?’: Canadian adventurers focus on climate change awareness – Global News



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Canada to work towards net-zero carbon economy by 2050: Environment minister


Canada to work towards net-zero carbon economy by 2050: Environment minister

“It’s always been in the back of my mind the hypocrisy of my situation — the way I was loving and enjoying nature, on the one side, and then, on the other side, kind of helping to destroy it.”

Hill said he was seeing the effects of climate change first hand, such as the retreating Illecillewaet Glacier in the Selkirk Mountains near Rogers Pass in B.C.

“Every year, it kept going further and further back,” he said. “There used to be this scary bulge to get on to it and now it has receded back 100 meters. It’s so far back than what it used to be. You just didn’t notice it.

“If it made noise and screamed, maybe we’d do something about it.”


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In 2017, Hill decided to do what he could to reduce his impact.

He quit heli-ski guiding, sold his diesel truck and leased an electric car to travel to his adventures. He and another athlete, Chris Rubens, decided they would ski as many mountains as possible without burning fossil fuels.

They documented their adventures in a film called “Electric Greg,” which premiered in November at the Banff Mountain Film Festival and is part of the festival’s World Tour.

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The film also includes a trip with his children, now teenagers, to the Athabasca Glacier in the Canadian Rockies, where markers on the ground show its retreat.


‘If we don’t, who is?’: Canadian adventurers focus on climate change awareness – Global News



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Excessive food waste takes toll on environment


Excessive food waste takes toll on environment

In addition to changes where he skis, Hill has also noticed changes where he lives. Summers are increasingly smoky in the B.C. interior due to forest fires, which research shows are becoming more frequent and more extreme due to climate change.

Hill has also embraced recyclable bags, weekday vegetarianism and localism — eating only locally produced foods and buying items such as locally made soaps and locally roasted coffee.

The transition isn’t perfect, but he believes people are paying attention.

“There was some skepticism at the start because I was supposed to be a globe-trotting athlete,” said Hill. “In the end, if your story is relevant and real, then it’s got purpose, and luckily the environmental stories are very important right now.

“Mine makes a lot of sense and it’s resonating with a lot of people.”


‘If we don’t, who is?’: Canadian adventurers focus on climate change awareness – Global News



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Trudeau nominates first judge of colour to sit on Supreme Court

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Trudeau nominates first judge of colour to sit on Supreme Court

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday made history by nominating the first judge of color to sit on the country’s Supreme Court, which has only ever had white justices in its 146-year existence.

Mahmud Jamal, who has been a judge on Ontario‘s court of appeal since 2019, trained as a lawyer and appeared before the Supreme Court in 35 appeals addressing a range of civil, constitutional, criminal and regulatory issues.

“He’ll be a valuable asset to the Supreme Court – and that’s why, today, I’m announcing his historic nomination to our country’s highest court,” Trudeau said on Twitter.

Trudeau has frequently said there is a need to address systemic racism in Canada.

Jamal, born in Nairobi in 1967, emigrated with his family to Britain in 1969 where he said he was “taunted and harassed because of my name, religion, or the color of my skin.”

In 1981 the family moved to Canada, where his “experiences exposed me to some of the challenges and aspirations of immigrants, religious minorities, and racialized persons,” he said in a document submitted to support his candidacy.

Canada is a multicultural country, with more than 22% of the population comprised of minorities and another 5% aboriginal, according to the latest census.

“We know people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-black racism every single day,” Trudeau said last year.

Jamal will replace Justice Rosalie Abella, who is due to retire from the nine-person court on July 1.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Donors pledge $1.5 billion for Venezuelan migrants, humanitarian crisis

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Donors pledge .5 billion for Venezuelan migrants, humanitarian crisis

More than 30 countries and two development banks on Thursday pledged more than $1.5 billion in grants and loans to aid Venezuelan migrants fleeing a humanitarian crisis, as well as their host countries and vulnerable people still in the country.

The $954 million in grants announced at a donors’ conference hosted by Canada – which included pledges of $407 million from the United States and C$115 million Canadian dollars ($93.12 million) from Canada – exceeded the $653 million announced at a similar event last year.

But that fell short of the needs of countries hosting the more than 5.6 million Venezuelans who have left their country since 2015, as the once-prosperous nation’s economy collapsed into a years-long hyperinflationary recession under socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Most have resettled in developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean who have themselves seen their budgets stretched thin due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Does this cover all needs? Of course not,” Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters. “We will have to continue to encourage donors to support the response.”

At the conference, Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso announced that the country – which hosts some 430,000 Venezuelans – would begin a new process to regularize migrants’ status. That came after Colombia in February gave 10-year protected status to the 1.8 million Venezuelans it hosts.

Karina Gould, Canada‘s minister for international development, said the amount pledged showed donors were eager to support such efforts.

“There is that recognition on behalf of the global community that there needs to be support to ensure that that generosity can continue, and can actually deepen, in host countries,” Gould said.

In addition, the World Bank and Inter-American Developmemt Bank pledged $600 million in loans to address the crisis, Gould said.

($1 = 1.2349 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Luc Cohen, Michelle Nichols and David Ljunggren; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Aurora Ellis)

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Ecuador to start new ‘normalization process’ for Venezuelan migrants

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Ecuador to start new ‘normalization process’ for Venezuelan migrants

Ecuador will implement a new “normalization process” for the 430,000 Venezuelan migrants living in the South American country, President Guillermo Lasso said on Thursday, without providing further details of the plan.

Lasso’s announcement, at a conference hosted by Canada intended to raise money to support the more than 5.6 million Venezuelans who have fled an economic crisis in the South American country, came after Colombia in February gave 10-year protected status to the nearly 2 million Venezuelans it hosts.

“I am pleased to announce the beginning of a new regularization process, which in order to be an effective, lasting and permanent policy should be complemented by strategies for economic integration and labor market access,” Lasso said.

Ecuador in late 2019 launched a regularization process for Venezuelans who arrived before July of that year. That included two-year humanitarian visas meant to facilitate access to social services.

Lasso said Ecuador needed outside funding to continue caring for Venezuelan migrants, estimating that more than 100,000 additional migrants were expected to arrive before the end of the year.

“I call on our partners in the international community to be co-responsible and have solidarity with Venezuelan migrants and refugees, and with the countries that receive them,” he said.

 

(Reporting by Luc Cohen; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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