To Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
From concerned mothers at Greenpeace Canada
With a very particular wish
We know you’re very busy, Mr. Trudeau. We’re busy, too.
Actually … you know what? Yann Martel said it best when he began writing to your predecessor, Stephen Harper, over a decade ago:*
We’re all busy … That’s adult life, filled to the ceiling with things that need doing. (It seems only children aren’t plagued by lack of time—and notice how they enjoy their books, how their lives fill their eyes). But every person has a space next to where they sleep, whether a patch of pavement or a fine bedside table. In that space, at night, a book can glow. And in those moments of docile wakefulness, when we begin to let go of the day, then is the perfect time to pick up a book and be someone else, somewhere else, for a few minutes, a few pages, before we fall asleep.
Books opened our minds, filled our hearts, dazzled our incredulous eyes with the bright light of an unknown and promising future. We turned the pages, picturing a world with fresh, crystalline water for little ones, elderly and adults. We built new worlds with an ocean of feasible. We believed the stories that say ingenuity and creativity are endlessly when we consider them with children’s eyes. We listened in awe, we heard the crackling sounds of a thriving nature, the delicate hissing of caribou hooves deep in the forest. We did not talk. Silently, we learned to respect life on earth, restore nature and keep our promises.
That is the greatness of literature, and its paradox, that in reading about fictional others we end up reading about ourselves. Sometimes this unwitting self-examination provokes smiles of recognition …
In this case, we hope it sparks an irrepressible urge to build a better work for our children. We hope you read the books we delivered to you this afternoon. Maybe even with children in your life. We hope you find them enlightening and inspiring (books and children alike!). As parents, we work so hard to teach our children simple morals, but it is perilously easy to slip into convenience over conviction, even at times when we need to model these morals the most.
So we hope this mini-reading list, inspired by our children, tugs at the corners of your imagination and reminds you of the choices you must make as you lead this country: right from wrong, people over corporate profits, environment over exploitation.
Respect Wet’suwet’en law.
Ensure Indigenous rights.
Act on the climate emergency.
We don’t think we are asking too much.
On behalf of concerned mothers of Greenpeace Canada
Check out the books below or follow Greenpeace Canada Executive Director Christy Ferguson on Twitter and learn more details about how she and her son William delivered the books AND our share of 100,000-plus signatures environmental groups have collected, calling on the federal government to #RejectTeck.