Throughout the process our voice was strong and positive. And, when 180 countries pledged to do their best to leave a sustainable planet for our children and grandchildren — Canada knew the real work was about to start.

This Earth Day, Canada will sign the historic Paris Agreement. We do so knowing our signature delivers on the promise we made to Canadians who believe we can — and must — take meaningful action on climate change. We sign the Paris agreement knowing it is both a conclusion to a key chapter in the fight against climate change and also a new beginning.

We know to move toward a real solution on climate change we need to work with the provinces and territories on a national plan to transition our country towards a stronger, cleaner economy. Right now, working groups made up of federal and provincial experts are preparing tools to help us reach that goal. Together, over the coming months, they will map the way forward to grow good jobs, support clean technology by putting a price on carbon, and better prepare our communities and protect them from the effects of climate change.

Green business

We all have a role to play in finding the solution. That’s why we are investing in public transit and green infrastructure that will give Canadian businesses more opportunities to create green jobs in Canada, generating economic growth and contributing to a more sustainable planet. It’s why we must foster a business environment that favours investments in smart, clean technologies — including renewable energy sources and an emphasis on energy efficiency.

Renewing our commitment to the planet

All Canadians — young or old, urban or rural — can play an important role in reducing pollution. We all make choices every day that affect the environment — from the kind of vehicles we drive and distance we travel in them, to the energy efficiency of our houses, and the design of our urban landscape. It is why the government wants to hear from Canadians about how we can shape the economy of the future.

“We [sign the Paris agreement] knowing it is both a conclusion to a key chapter in the fight against climate change and also a new beginning.”

Today, the government of Canada is launching a new tool to give Canadians from coast to coast to coast the chance to join the conversation. By going to you can submit your great ideas on how you see Canada growing a cleaner, stronger economy and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. All submissions will be available to the public, keeping with the federal government’s commitment to transparency. As well as joining the conversation online, this portal is also where Canadians will find all the tools they need to host a discussion in their community by downloading our Host Your Own Townhall kit.

I want to hear from as many Canadians as possible. Everything you tell your Government on will be fed back into our federal and provincial working groups, so ideas will directly make a difference to the work we do.

For the sake of future generations, I hope we will look back on Earth Day 2016 as the moment where Canadians from all sectors and all walks of life renewed their commitment to a clean, sustainable future for our planet.