We envision a Canada where the rights to clean water, land, and air are enjoyed by everyone. We envision a country 100% powered by renewable energy that respects ecological limits and helps ensure a safe climate for all generations.
We envision a Canada that guarantees human rights and dignity for all. We envision a country that respects, protects, and fulfills the rights of Indigenous peoples and marginalized populations, and strives for just relationships between all people who live here.
We envision a Canada with a strong economy that builds shared prosperity to serve everyone, not just a small elite. We envision a Canada that ensures equitable opportunity to live a safe and healthy life.
We envision a Canada where freedom, fairness, and integrity are central to our democracy. We envision a Canada where transparent and responsive public institutions enable people to shape decisions that affect their lives.
Thank you for making 2016 yet another remarkable year for the Leadnow community. I am so inspired by the thousands of you who return to Leadnow and take actions that build and defend a just, sustainable, and equitable Canada
Having helped to defeat the Harper government in 2015 Leadnow embarked on a process to revamp and revitalize itself in the new political reality. The year was marked by deep investments in community engagement on the issues of climate change and electoral reform and internally investing in staff and campaign infrastructure to make our organization more responsive to the issues of our time.
While we experienced incredible wins for our community, there were also some big disappointments - specifically with the government’s failure to keep their promise on electoral reform. Despite the fact that the Liberals broke this promise, our tireless efforts made sure that they couldn’t walk away from the issue unharmed. As opportunities for electoral reform emerge in British Columbia, we are confident that the foundation we laid in 2016 will help us engage in the fights for a fairer voting system wherever they unfold.
In the spring of this year, we saw our work being attacked by the far right. This is part of a larger conservative witch-hunt to strangle our people-powered movement. Even though we have a small staff team and limited funds compared to the political parties, as a community we’re effective at making our voices heard. And quite frankly, they hate that. Thanks to the generous support of so many of you, we are able to hire lawyers and the help we need to clear our name and get back to work
I want to thank you for the actions you’ve taken, the hours you’ve volunteered, and the financial contributions you’ve made to keep this work going. While the ways in which each of you contributed may be different, our collective impact is clear: we are moving Canada towards a more just, equitable and sustainable future.
I look forward to the year ahead and providing more opportunities for you to connect and engage more directly on the issues you care about.
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to replace our broken first-past-the-post voting system in time for the 2019 election... Leadnow members across the country got to work to make the most of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to
make every vote count.
Together we talked to over 15,000 people face to face about our broken electoral system, mobilized thousands more to attend the electoral reform consultations to speak up in support of proportional representation, and in August, we presented a focused message to the electoral reform committee at their hearings in Ottawa about our community's support for proportional representation.
In October, Prime Minister Trudeau made comments in Le Devoir that indicated he was considering backing down from his promise. In just a few days we made over 800 phone calls to the Prime Minister’s office and over 450 calls to various Liberal MP offices asking them to keep their word. Then we held a joint press conference in Ottawa with other members of the Every Voter Counts Alliance calling on Trudeau to keep his word, and crowd-funded a poll that showed that more people wanted Trudeau to keep his word than to break it. Thanks to this incredible response from the Leadnow community and our allies, Trudeau made a point to publicly reaffirm his commitment to electoral reform.
"I liked working on a campaign that had the aim of improving our democracy for all Canadians, yet felt like an important local issue as well. I was able to collaborate with and support volunteers across the country, while organizing with the folks in my own community face-to-face. It was both exciting and satisfying."
- Quoc Nguyen, Volunteer
As a result of the unrelenting efforts of thousands of people from coast to coast to coast, on December 1st, the all-party committee on electoral reform made a historic recommendation for proportional representation!
The Liberals began to show signs in December they were thinking about backing away from electoral reform. The Leadnow community got to work to shore up support for proportional representation, which 88% of experts and the public had supported during the consultation process. Leadnow members came together in over 60 communities across the country and online through Twitter and Facebook to call on the Liberals to keep their promise on electoral reform as part of the Make Every Vote Count National Day of Action.
Even though the Liberals would go on to break their word on electoral reform a few months later, our relentless work on electoral reform throughout 2016 ensured that they didn’t get away with it easily. We educated thousands of people, attracted sympathetic media coverage, and built a dedicated base of supporters throughout the campaign who have continued to hold the Liberals accountable on electoral reform.
The Trudeau Liberals promised to take serious action to stop runaway global warming, and in 2016 the Leadnow community worked hard to hold them to that promise. Thousands of us came together to pack the government's town hall consultations on climate action, and to speak up for a bold climate plan as part of the People's Climate Plan campaign. Tens of thousands more of us spoke out against dangerous projects like the Kinder Morgan pipeline and Lelu Island fracked gas terminal, and together with ally groups, we delivered 144,000 signatures of opposition to the public consultation on Kinder Morgan in Vancouver.
In November, close to 400 of us came to a public event in Vancouver and online -- to hear from indigenous and community leaders in Standing Rock and British Columbia about lessons on how direct action could help stop the Kinder Morgan Transmountain pipeline. The Canadian Youth Delegation at the UN Climate talks in Marrakech hand-delivered your petition (and that of other groups) against Kinder Morgan right to the hands of Environment and Climate Change Minister McKenna. We then partnered with For the Coast and took those same 210,000 petition signatures right to the steps of Ottawa to make sure they got the message.
That same week, we delivered a People's Climate Plan report to the staff of Environment and Climate Change Minister McKenna, to make sure that your calls for a National Climate Strategy that's based in science, builds a 100% renewable energy economy and ensures a just transition for people and plant, were heard.
"I was involved in organizing the From Standing Rock to Burnaby Mountain event. It was a very powerful moment to see all those people ready to take action against the pipeline to protect our planet. That was reaffirmed in my first protest ever for the Kinder Morgan day of action in Vancouver. It really made it feel like a battle we could win and I would have never been involved if it wasn't for Leadnow!"
- Ellena L., Volunteer
After a decade of living under Harper, and years of fighting for climate action in Canada, our pressure is working and we are finally seeing some results. The Trudeau government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 through a plan that includes, among other things:
The Leadnow community campaigned hard in 2016 to get the trudeau Liberals to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is the world’s largest trade and investment agreement that benefits corporations and the super wealthy at the expense of the things we care about: an open democracy, fair economy, a clean environment, and a just society.
In our fight to reject the TPP, the Leadnow community delivered 40,000 flyers across the country letting people know about the dangers of the TPP, and handed out almost 2,000 flyers at the Liberal Party Convention in Manitoba to tell the Liberals that the TPP contradicts the change they promised to Canadians. When the government kicked off hearings in the spring, they weren’t allowing members of the public a chance to voice their opposition -- but thanks to pressure from the Leadnow community, they were forced to make their TPP consultations more open and accessible to the public. Then, we flooded the government’s online TPP consultations with opposition - sending over 40,000 messages to make sure they heard loud and clear that the public rejects this dangerous deal.
We built a powerful reject TPP website - a one stop shop for people to learn all about the dangerous deal, and speak out against it - and flew a plane over Ottawa pulling a huge Reject-TPP.ca,” banner to promote the website and drive as many people as possible to learn about the dangers and costs of this outdated corporate power grab.
By forcing the government to open up the consultation process to the public, and by unleashing public opposition in powerful numbers, the Leadnow community helped make the TPP too politically toxic for the Trudeau government to push through. With the election of Donald Trump in the United States who promised to kill the TPP in his first 100 days as president, the fate of the TPP is uncertain, and many believe it will never go through.
After 16,136 of you sent messages to Fisheries and Justice Ministers and crowdfunded an ad targeting the Minister of Fisheries in the Hill Times the government decided to delay a court case that threatened wild salmon with contagion from diseased farmed fish. In December, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) dropped the case altogether - a huge win for the health of our wild salmon!
Hundreds of you called 90 MPs across Canada to express outrage after the federal government issued permits for the destructive site C dam, and you donated thousands to help First Nations communities continue the fight. You raised $8,800 for a First Nations’ legal defence fund, and $6,500 to help a bus of First Nations elders go to Ottawa to speak directly to politicians at crucial hearings in September.
With over 20,000 signatures, a massive rally at Queen’s Park, and over 300 phone calls to Premier Wynne’s office you, along with our allies, helped to ramp up the pressure on the Ontario Government to to clean up the mercury that is poisoning people in the Grassy Narrows First Nation.
18,256 of you sent messages calling on the Minister of Revenue to crack down on tax evasion and she announced significant new measures to stop tax evasion by wealthy individuals.
Leadnow is fiercely independent, and it’s individual donors like you, donating what and when you can, that power our movement. In 2016 we received more than 46,416 single donations through our crowdfunded campaigns, and our 2827 monthly donors provide us with the stable funding we need to be nimble and launch campaigns to stand up to those blocking progress on issues that matter to our community.
We’re proud that in 2016 altogether, individual donations make up 74% of our funding. The remaining 26% of our funding comes from vetted like-minded organizations and donors for specific campaigns that are aligned with our community’s top-ranked priorities.
What an incredible year we’ve had so far! We pushed the government to put electoral reform back on the table. We successfully fought for a cooperation agreement between the Greens and NDP in B.C. We launched quick and effective corporate campaigns that targeted TD Bank and greedy insurance companies.
We’ve proven that together, we can spring into action at the flip of the switch -- reaching thousands with hard-hitting online campaigns, flooding our MPs with phone calls, and taking to the streets in our communities. We are fiercely independent, we can tackle multiple issues at a time, and when we work together, we get results.
The Liberals have voted down our last shot at getting federal electoral reform by 2019.The Conservatives have elected their new leader — a social conservative with ties to the extreme right. Trump continues to promote his hateful and dangerous agenda, recently pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord and threatening a new Muslim ban. Leaders are gearing up to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement — a process doomed to be messy and have enormous implications for the economy, the environment, and workers in all three countries.
It’s never been more crucial for us to work together as we face these challenges and opportunities head-on.
When we asked you to pick your top issue for the rest of 2017, the top two issues, by a wide margin, were ensuring protections for the land, water, air and climate, and continuing to fight for electoral reform at the federal, provincial and local levels.
You want to see us run campaigns that push for ambitious action on climate, stop projects that threaten the environment and Indigenous sovereignty, and hold companies accountable for unethical behaviour.
On electoral reform, you’re still mad about the government’s broken promise, and you support Leadnow working on more provincial electoral reform campaigns in places like BC and PEI.
On trade, you are concerned about the upcoming NAFTA renegotiations and want to see us push to repeal or overhaul the worst parts of this trade deal.
These are our shared priorities as a community, and now we’re working to make them real.
As you’ll see in this report, Leadnow’s outsized impact is thanks to the courage of all the people who’ve taken small actions that add up to something much bigger and sends a clear message: this movement is for all of us, by all of us.
The staff is just the vehicle to help us make it all happen. It doesn’t take a lot of money – not billions of dollars of influence – but enough to help us keep going and creating more ways for us to collaborate, learn, be strategic, and raise our voices to and create the change we believe in.
I won’t lie – this year we’ve been faced with a number of challenges from those who wish to silence us. Each time, we’ve shown that we’ve been above board and proud to be. The Board of Leadnow serves to make sure all our t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted so that the community can continue to focus on what matters: engaging in building the open, fair, healthy, just Canada we wish to see.
In the next year, the board will be focusing its work on ensuring we include an even greater diversity of voices in our community and in our governance, and we’ll be continuing to ensure we are financially viable and legally unassailable. Thank you for helping to fund us when we were under attack, so that we could stand up for ourselves and continue our work.
- Marie-Marguerite Sabongui, Leadnow Board Chair