350.org founder Bill McKibben to headline Yukon NDP's Change 2016 conference

Progressive Yukoners will have a unique chance to meet Bill McKibben, who the Boston Globe has called “probably America’s most important environmentalist”, at the Yukon NDP’s Change 2016 conference on April 2nd. McKibben will give a keynote speech on the status of the global climate change movement, while former Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) vice-president of advocacy Susan Eng will share her perspective, as one of the most influential seniors’ advocates in Canada, on the challenges of caring for an ageing population.

Bill McKibben gained international attention for publishing The End of Nature, the first plain-language book on climate change, in 1988. Since then, he has founded 350.org, an international climate campaign that operates in 188 countries, published a dozen more books, and in doing so was named to Foreign Policy’s inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers. McKibben’s Change 2016 speech will be his first visit to Yukon.

“Liz Hanson and I first crossed paths during the COP21 negotiations in Paris last year, and I’m excited to take Liz up on her offer to visit Yukon this spring,” said McKibben. “I’m looking forward to sharing some of my experiences on the front line of the international campaign for a more sustainable world with a community that believes in the value of a healthy planet that we can pass on to our children.”

“Bill McKibben is a leading voice in the global sustainability movement. I hope his stories prompt vigorous discussions about our future here in Yukon,” said Yukon NDP leader Liz Hanson, who met McKibben at December’s Paris climate change negotiations while serving as a Yukon delegate. “Change 2016 is about ideas and debate, and I’m thrilled that Bill is bringing his internationally renowned environmental expertise to Change 2016.”

During her time as CARP’s head of advocacy, Susan Eng advocated on behalf of over 300,000 CARP members on issues like pension reform, protecting elders from abuse and developing stronger continuing care services. Eng has also served her community as chair of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Services Board, a member of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association board, and was honoured by the YWCA with their Women of Distinction Award for her public service.

“Canada is at a crucial moment as we tackle the challenges of caring for an ageing population and offering a full spectrum of care to elderly Canadians,” said Eng. “I look forward to Change 2016 as an opportunity to share my national expertise as a seniors’ advocate with progressive Yukoners in search of a paradigm shift in how we deal with the challenges of ageing.”

“When it comes to our ageing population, Susan Eng’s unparalleled national expertise will be a valuable addition to the Change 2016 schedule,” added Hanson. “Yukon’s vigorous debate about the future of our continuing care services will be well served by Susan’s perspectives as a former CARP advocate.”

Tickets to Change 2016 are available online at www.yukonndp.ca/change2016