The Generations Pact/Pacte des générations

3 April 2008

La ministre Line Beauchamp était de passage à Montréal pour annoncer l’octroi d’un montant de 250 000 $ pour financer des projets étudiants relatifs à l’environnement. © Virginie Roy (Canoë)
Le défi lancé au gouvernement du Québec par les fondateurs du Pacte des générations, un projet de sensibilisation au développement durable, semble avoir fait son chemin. En effet, le montant demandé au gouvernement pour la contribution au fonds de durabilité a été accordé aujourd’hui. Line Beauchamp, ministre du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs, a annoncé l’octroi de 250 000 $ au cours de l’année. More/suite
Background document
Students have always been at the forefront of social change. From the civil rights movement in the 1960’s to the anti-war movements in the 70’s and today, youth have always led or been actively involved in issues that affect their own generation and those to follow. The current climate crisis is no different. Students today are showing in record numbers that they are indeed willing to make the sacrifices necessary to ensure that environmentally disruptive social habits and activities are brought to an end. The recently-launched Generations Pact brings together various Quebec universities to make campuses more sustainable, and counter the ravages of climate change.
After organizing a conference with Nobel Prize winner Al Gore and Dr. David Suzuki in March 2007, Concordia University students spearheaded a campaign to create a “sustainable action fund” on campus – which now amounts to just over $150,000 per year for sustainable initiatives at Concordia. Inspired by this endeavour, as well as by other university-led initiatives to counter global warming, the Generations Pact is a highly ambitious project that aims to create a unique collaboration between the Government of Quebec and the university student community.
The objectives are clear and pro-active. The Generations Pact is asking the Government of Quebec to match dollar for dollar any additional student funds set aside for green projects at the universities that already have such funds, and to financially assist those universities which do not have such funds in order to conduct sustainability assessment reports on campus. Moreover, one of the main
ultimate goals is to see all the 17 Quebec universities with sustainability funds that will support student-led initiatives.
The Generations Pact has already mobilized thousands of university students through conferences given by world-renowned environmentalists, including Dr. David Suzuki, Dr. Hubert Reeves, Laure Waridel, Steven Guilbeault, Desiree McGraw, Jean Lemire and Andrée-Lise Méthot, from March 26th to April 3rd at ten universities across Quebec.
It is now the government’s turn to give its verdict. Tonight, Line Beauchamp, the Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, will attend the Generations Pact gala to reveal her position towards the Pact. This will be quite a significant evening, as various leading personalities will sign the Pact, underlining the importance of collaboration between students and the government – a partnership that seeks to address the environmental, social, academic, political and economic challenges of climate change.
The Quebec Alliance of Youth Chambers of Commerce (Regroupement des Jeunes Chambres de Commerce du Québec), Sierra Youth Coalition, Oxfam-Quebec, and the Quebec Alliance of National Councils for the Environment (Regroupement National des Conseils Régionaux pour l’Environnement du Québec) have signed an agreement, and are now united under an organizational structure in order to support this student initiative, and provide their expertise for future student-led projects.
The Pact is giving Line Beauchamp a distinctive opportunity to create a cooperative forum between her student population and her ministry.
It is now her chance to demonstrate to students that she is willing to work with them, and help them transform their universities into sustainable institutions that will serve the interests of present and future generations. And the timing of the Pact is quite appropriate, as both Al Gore and Dr. David Suzuki will be reunited – one year after the “Less Talk, More Action” conference – during Gore’s Climate Project in Canada training week-end.
The Generations Pact is but one small but intricate piece of a long and inspirational history of proactive action. Let’s see if tonight, at the Biosphere, actions will supersede words.

The Generations Pact is but one environmental project in a new era in which the present generation can build a future which is mindfully concerned of the impact on future generations.
From March 26th-April 3rd, some of the world’s most renowned environmentalists and leaders [ including: Dr.David Suzuki, Dr. Hubert Reeves, Laure Waridel, Désirée McGraw, Steven Guilbeault, Andrée-Lise Méthot and Jean Lemire ] will be touring Quebec to inform students of the Generations Pact. This pact, to be signed on April 3rd, 2008 following the tours completion, will outline a joint venture between the provincial government and the 18 universities and students unions across Quebec. This Pact will outline a path to make these 18 educational institutions, which collectively hold over 260,000 students, carbon neutral within a generation. It is the first such collaboration of its kind and will set the stage for other provinces to take similar action.
March 25
Sustainability tour’ to be kicked off by David Suzuki visit
Promoters attempt to spread environmental message across Quebec
March 23
Le Pacte des générations
Jean Lemire
Progrès-dimanche
Imaginez une force nouvelle en environnement, mobilisatrice, jeune et dynamique, capable de créer des projets en développement durable qui répondent à des besoins réels.


Hubert Reeves
Le Pacte des générations

C’est une initiative enthousiasmante. Voilà la phrase mise en exergue:
«Maintenir la paix et la sécurité internationale, cultiver l’amitié entre les nations, encourager le progrès social, favoriser l’élévation du niveau de vie et le progrès des droits de l’homme». (ONU, 2002)
Devant la réalité des perturbations climatiques et de l’érosion de la biodiversité, cette initiative québécoise vise à intégrer une dimension écologique dans cet idéal proclamé par l’ONU. Et à la rendre concrète! Il s’agit aussi d’unir des membres du gouvernement et des étudiants qui appartiennent les uns et les autres à des classes d’âge différentes. Les premiers sont aux affaires, les seconds ne sont pas encore dans la vie professionnelle, mais s’y préparent. Suite

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