Young people continue to face a difficult, uphill battle to create a just and sustainable future. Canada has abandoned the Kyoto Protocol, eliminated energy efficiency programs and continues to subsidize and promote the fossil fuel industry, acts that threaten our air, water, land and the climate. The fossil fuel extraction projects on which our government continues to focus contribute to global climate change and severely impact the rights and lives of indigenous communities on whose land these projects are being built. Our present and future economic welfare is also at risk. We see daily reports promising cuts to our public services, the dismantling of our social security, the loss of workers rights, and tax breaks to corporations that don’t need them.

Power Shift, a program run by the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, is a gathering organized by youth for youth that aims to mobilize passionate youth from affected communities and various sectors of society to explore multiple ways of taking action and work to develop each other’s capacity and abilities.

Power Shift is also about learning from each other, learning together, and using that knowledge to develop common strategies for creating positive change. Power Shift aims to ensure that once the gathering is over our movement continues to grow through networks, common strategies and continued capacity building.

In 2009 and 2012, PowerShift brought together people from across the country and across movements to build momentum for climate and environmental justice in Ottawa. Then, in 2013 we took the next bold step to begin bringing regional PowerShifts to every part of Canada. In October, we held PowerShift BC in Victoria, British Columbia. Then, in the spring of 2014, PowerShift Atlantic was hosted in Halifax, Nova Scotia.