The gentle music of teens’ fingers clicking in approval at the Law Amendments Committee Public Hearing 31Oct2019

UPDATE View Comments by Gary Burrill in the Lagislature Oct 30, 2019 “The character of this pivotal climate moment is something that has been laid out for the government in many venues in many ways, many times, by all those people who have been resolutely sounding the alarm about the climate emergency across the province…The committee heard from high school students who fear deeply and daily about their futures. ..”

and Susan LeBlanc: “The young people have completely lost faith in the process. That is a very dangerous outcome of the way that this government has dealt with this important matter of renewing this flagship environmental legislation. People are disappointed. Young people, many of whom have not even had the chance to vote yet, whose future we are currently debating, are disillusioned. They are disillusioned and disappointed with the legislative process. I have no answer for them. They have to hope, in some way, because there’s nothing else to do. Some people just can’t hope anymore, and they have gone into what my colleague describes and what other people have described as climate anxiety and climate depression.”

The proceedings of the Law Amendments Hearing for the public on the SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ACT (Bill 213), held on Monday Oct 28, 2019, are now available on YouTube, at least up to the point where it was prematurely terminated (about 5:15 pm) as the video people prepared for the evening session of the House. From there on there is audio only (see below for the YouTube links).

Over the time I was there, approx. 4:15 to 5:45 pm, nine adults (6 male, 3 female) and 7 teens (6 female, one male) spoke. After listening to the latter, I am questioning the adult-teen distinction.

Aged 13 to 15, the teens were incredibly well spoken, passionate, logical and highly knowledgeable about the topic. They were not grandstanding, they were (are) concerned and wanted the committee members to connect with their concerns. About 15 in their age group were attending; they were obviously highly interested in the goings on, they were not there just to cheer on those who spoke.

Something new for me occurred which is not recorded in the video (I guess it is background noise that is filtered out) – when the teens liked what someone said, they would smile and click their fingers in approval.

It was a gentle, musical sound respecting the rules of the assembly (no clapping, cheering), while enabling them  to express themselves nonetheless.

Perhaps that’s a practice adults in our government assemblies could adopt as well.

I did not hear the teens moan or groan when they heard comments or actions (e.g., denial of a  motion to extend  the hearings) they didn’t like, but it was clear those were taken note of.

As it turned out, the Liberals passed their Act with no revisions, a total sham and shame of process beginning with their notification on Friday of the Public Hearing on Monday.

I would be depressed about it all except for the teens’ participation and clear determination that they are not going to accept the status quo.

Oct. 28, 2019 – Law Amendments Committee Proceedings (Part 1):

Oct 28, 2019 Law Amendments Committee (Part 2 – Audio Only):

Oct. 29, 2019 – House of Assembly Proceedings Go to 4:24 for the SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ACT

Law Amendments Committee
Members, contact info

Other Links
Legislation sets new emissions targets
Halifax Examiner Morning File for Thursday, October 31, 2019

Mon Oct 28, 2019: Law Amendments Public Hearing on Nova Scotia Sustainable Development Goals Act 27Oct2019
Post on NSFN

Teens tell Nova Scotia government climate targets aren’t good enough
By Taryn GrantStar Halifax Oct 28, 2019

Nova Scotia legislature committee told new climate targets don’t go far enough

Rush job on green law
Joanne Light in the Chronicle Herald, Oct 29, 2019

Liberals reject changes to emissions goals, despite nearly unanimous message from presenters at committee
Halifax Examiner, Oct 29, 2019

‘Your plan isn’t good enough’: Advocates say emissions bill is insufficient
Michael Gorman · CBC News Oct 28, 2019

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