We opened our Quebec office in Montreal only two years ago, and now we're running full steam with six staff members. The Quebec team works on the Foundation's national projects, as well as projects specific to the province, including work to protect the St. Lawrence and public health.
Since the office formed, more than 200 dedicated volunteers have supported our work in Quebec, and our online community has reached more than 5,000 French-speaking Canadians. We are proud that our Quebec team is a credible source of information on environmental issues for the public and media, with more than 350 media articles regarding our organization in our 2009 – 2010 year.
Drive Smart campaign helps drivers decrease emissions
Taking transit or cycling is best, but it's not always possible, especially outside of our cities. That's why our Quebec team launched a special campaign in March to raise awareness about the impacts of driving, fuel consumption, and pollution. Through our Roulez Mieux campaign — or "Drive Smart" in English — we encouraged those who must drive to use our eco-driving trips. These small changes add up to a 10 per cent reduction in emissions, $300 in savings, and 250 litres less fuel per year, per vehicle.
We challenged people to take an eight-week driving makeover. They signed an online pledge to change the way they drive, shared the challenge with friends, and entered to win prizes. We reached more than 750,000 people through radio and web advertisements, and more than 12,000 people visited our online platform.
At the campaign's official launch, news, culture, and sports personalities supported the campaign with a friendly race aboard an eco-driving simulator.
Al Gore's Climate Project continues in Canada
The Climate Project Canada is a program designed by Al Gore to raise awareness about climate change and solutions to the crisis. The Secretariat of the project is established in the Foundation's Montreal offices. On September 28, 2009, the government of Quebec announced it would contribute $300,000 over three years to help provide resources and support to the 350 project volunteers across Canada, in both English and French. The announcement was made by Quebec Premier Jean Charest, alongside the Minister of the Environment, Sustainable Development and Parks, Line Beauchamp.
Friedman shares opportunities of crisis to Montreal's business community
An evening fundraiser featured an engaging lecture from Thomas Friedman about the challenges and opportunities of our environmental crisis. More than 500 guests from Montreal's business community came to hear the New York Times columnist, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of Hot, Flat, and Crowded. André Boisclair, consultant and former provincial cabinet minister, chaired a thought-provoking dialogue between Friedman and David Suzuki. The event was presented by our partner, Mouvement Desjardins.
Scientists offer outreach in Quebec
The David Suzuki Science Ambassadors are a group of volunteer scientists who ensure that science is an essential discussion point in ongoing environmental debates. Cardiologists, bioengineers, physicians, biologists, and ecologists contribute to our work by writing blogs, giving conferences and acting as science advisors.
Work begins to protect St. Lawrence River
Our project to protect the St. Lawrence River (Our Living River) is gaining momentum in Quebec. The campaign provides science-based education and promotes responsible stewardship of our historically and ecologically significant river.
Over the year, we developed a program to teach volunteers how to give conferences to raise awareness about the essential services the St. Lawrence provides for free (such as drinking water, seafood, and protection from erosion) to highlight the pressing concerns threatening its ecosystems. By engaging the public, we seek to restore the special connection we once held with this mighty river.