Other Group

Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet (GASP)

Website:

www.gasp4change.org/%20

Location:

Ontario, Canada

Formation:

2019

Chair:

Lorraine Green

Type:

Environmentalist group

Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet (GASP) (also known as Grand(m)others Act to Save the Planet) is a left-of-center environmentalist and group based out of Ontario, Canada. The group originated from a monthly meeting of elderly women to discuss left-of-center political issues, but evolved into a concerted activist organization which supports divestment from energy companies, a government-financed guaranteed livable income, and more zoning restrictions to reduce city expansion.

As of February 2021, GASP had 80 members who pay $20 per year in dues. [1]

GASP is a member of the Canadian Climate Action Network. [2]

History

In 2017, a group of 30 women in Halton, a suburb of Ontario, began meeting once per month to discuss “systemic racism and white privilege” and devise strategies to “engage” “un woke” friends. Some of the attendees were founding members of Women of Halton Action Network, a left-of-center advocacy group which successfully lobbied for a gender equality clause in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a component of the Canadian Constitution akin to the U.S. Bill of Rights. [3][4]

At one meeting, a member stated that their demographic (older white women) had been crucial in swinging the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. Upon acknowledging this, the group expressed a desire to focus on “the USA and its cruel legacy of slavery and current systemic discrimination against black people,” but they soon directed their attention toward “Canada’s history of racism toward brown and black people.” The group lobbied the Oakville government to raise a flag for Indigenous Canadians over city hall. On a retreat with Indigenous elders from a local tribe, the women were encouraged to focus more on environmental efforts. In 2019, they decided to form Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet to focus on climate change activism, though they also work on left-of-center economic issues. [5][6]

Campaigns

Urban Boundaries

Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet opposes “urban sprawl” by resisting redistricting initiatives which seek to expand urban boundaries. The organization has a team called “Ford Watch,” which opposes the implementation of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Amendment 1 of the Places to Grow Act, which permitted the expansion of cities and removed population limits in districts to permit property development. Ford Watch encourages municipalities to ignore the Amendment or to include stipulations in their expansions for building low-income housing. In April 2021, GASP created an Anti-Sprawl Toolkit to guide cities in resisting specific provisions of the amendment. [7]

Banks

In December 2020, GASP organized a campaign for thirty members to send over 1,000 Christmas cards to executives who work at banks that finance companies allegedly contributing to climate change, primarily energy companies. The Royal Bank of Canada responded by arranging a call with GASP to hear their concerns. [8]

Pension Plans

GASP supports Shift – Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health, an organization which encourages Canadian pension funds to invest in environmentalist energy companies and divest from companies which allegedly contribute to climate change. [9]

Guaranteed Livable Income

GASP supports the establishment of a government-financed guaranteed livable income, on top of an increased minimum wage, government-provided healthcare, childcare, and education. GASP endorses Motion 46, a guaranteed livable income bill proposed by MP Leah Gazan, which is currently being considered by the House of Commons. [10]

Partner Organizations

Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet’s local partner organizations are Women of Halton Action Movement, Halton Environmental Network, Halton Advocacy for Climate Emergency, Advancement of Women Halton, Halton Hills Climate Change, Sustainable Milton, Burlington Green, Hamilton350.org, Oakville Climate Action, and Oomama. [11]

GASP’s provincial, national, and international partner organizations are For Our Kids, GRAN, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Environmental Defence, Canadian Climate Action Network, Shift Action, Climate Pledge Collective, Fridays for the Future, Ontario Nature, and Climate Legacy. [12]

References

  1. Lau, Lynn. “Local grandmothers band together to advocate for climate change.” Oakville News. February 5, 2021. Accessed June 2, 2021. https://oakvillenews.org/oakville-community-news/local-grandmothers-band-together-to-advocate-for-climate-act/. ^
  2. “Our Members.” Climate Action Network Canada. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://climateactionnetwork.ca/meet-our-members/. ^
  3. Lau, Lynn. “Local grandmothers band together to advocate for climate change.” Oakville News. February 5, 2021. Accessed June 2, 2021. https://oakvillenews.org/oakville-community-news/local-grandmothers-band-together-to-advocate-for-climate-act/. ^
  4. Green, Lorraine; Holmes, Carole. “5. GASP Backstory – written by Carole Holmes and Lorraine Green – June 2020.” GASP. June 2020. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.gasp4change.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/GASP-Backstory.pdf. ^
  5. Lau, Lynn. “Local grandmothers band together to advocate for climate change.” Oakville News. February 5, 2021. Accessed June 2, 2021. https://oakvillenews.org/oakville-community-news/local-grandmothers-band-together-to-advocate-for-climate-act/. ^
  6. Green, Lorraine; Holmes, Carole. “5. GASP Backstory – written by Carole Holmes and Lorraine Green – June 2020.” GASP. June 2020. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.gasp4change.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/GASP-Backstory.pdf. ^
  7. “Take Action.” GASP. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.avclub.com/a-wedding-crashers-sequel-is-apparently-in-the-works-fo-1847025440. ^
  8. Lau, Lynn. “Local grandmothers band together to advocate for climate change.” Oakville News. February 5, 2021. Accessed June 2, 2021. https://oakvillenews.org/oakville-community-news/local-grandmothers-band-together-to-advocate-for-climate-act/. ^
  9. “Take Action.” GASP. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.avclub.com/a-wedding-crashers-sequel-is-apparently-in-the-works-fo-1847025440. ^
  10. “Take Action.” GASP. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.avclub.com/a-wedding-crashers-sequel-is-apparently-in-the-works-fo-1847025440. ^
  11. “Networks and Alliances.” GASP. Accessed June 2, 2021. https://www.gasp4change.org/networks-and-alliances/. ^
  12. “Networks and Alliances.” GASP. Accessed June 2, 2021. https://www.gasp4change.org/networks-and-alliances/. ^
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Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet (GASP)


Ontario,
Canada