Press Release: Leadnow announces endorsed Courage to Lead Champions for the federal election


With polls tightening, organization seeks to reach hundreds of thousands of voters before Election Day

Vancouver (Sept 1, 2021) - Today, community advocacy group Leadnow announced nine candidates they plan to support in the federal election. With election day fast approaching in a snap election apparently intended to catapult the Liberals into majority power, the organization is concerned people won't be motivated to vote. Pandemic elections have typically driven voter turnout down, which favours Conservatives. So, they’ve set their sights on helping elect a group of candidates that will inspire hope for the change that is needed.

“It’s never been clearer that we need more courageous leadership to have any chance of curbing climate collapse and soaring inequality. We need leaders that understand the scale and inter-relationship of these crises, who are willing to deliver the programs we need to solve them,” said Maggie Chao, Leadnow Campaigns Director. “What we have right now are government leaders still obstinately upholding a very broken status quo, which does not inspire voters to the polls.”

Canada has had the same federal leadership for 6 years, with little change to show for it. Still, 32 Indigenous communities are without access to safe drinking water, with 51 outstanding boil water advisories [1]. Canada’s emissions targets have continued to increase since 2015 [2], and whole towns are being lost to climate-related extreme wildfires. It’s no wonder - with a government that declared a climate emergency one day and the next day, approved a pipeline set to generate an additional 14-17 megatonnes of climate pollution per year - equivalent to 2.7 million cars [3, 4].

Nearly 5 million people in Canada still live in poverty, while Canadian billionaires increased their wealth by $78B during the first year of the pandemic alone [5, 6]. When many across the country were in dire need of support, the Prime Minister chose to call an election instead.

That decision is shaping up to be another failure of leadership, as recent polls show O’Toole’s Conservatives - with climate denialism, wavering on abortion rights, and racist dogwhistles in tow - are gaining ground and could replace the Liberals in government.

Voters could be forgiven for wondering: where are the leaders we so urgently need today? 

“We know that if someone is just playing ‘spot the difference’ between O'Toole and Trudeau, they may be struggling for a reason to vote. But when you look beyond platform headlines and easily broken promises, you find candidates driven to fight for the transformational change we need to address eco-system collapse, inequality and persistent injustice,” said Chao.

Leadnow's endorsed candidates are a sample of courageous leaders with a demonstrated understanding of the problems we face, in ridings where the organization's volunteer teams could make electoral impacts through ongoing voter contact efforts. They are ready to speak up on the campaign trail and, more importantly, have the courage to fight in the House of Commons and within their parties. They’re committed to delivering what is needed to secure a just and climate-safe future for all. 

“We will reach hundreds of thousands of voters with the message that there are courageous and inspiring leaders to be found if you look. We’ll encourage people to not only vote for our Courage to Lead Champions, but to join our voter contact efforts and to speak up about the specific policy demands that our champions agreed to fight for,” said Claire Gallagher, Campaign Manager with Leadnow.

Leadnow's Courage to Lead campaign will focus on policy commitments aimed at unlocking the resources to secure a climate-safe and just future. These include investment of at least 2% of GDP in a Just Transition away from fossil fuels, resourcing and empowering local and Indigenous communities to lead their transitions, funding job training programs, and implementing a permanent basic income to ensure everyone can meet their needs through the climate crisis and beyond.

“We’re going to help elect some inspiring people, and we're working especially hard to help people find something to hope for, something to vote for on September 20th,” added Gallagher.


Media Contact:

Maggie Chao, Campaigns Director, Leadnow
Cell: 778-887-2585
Email: [email protected]

Courage to Lead video:
About the champions:
More about the campaign:

Leadnow’s ‘Courage to Lead Champions’ are:

  • Anjali Appadurai, Vancouver Granville

  • Leah Gazan, Winnipeg Centre

  • Matthew Green, Hamilton Centre

  • Paul Manly, Nanaimo-Ladysmith

  • Shailene Panylo, Oshawa

  • Devyani Singh, Vancouver Quadra

  • Wayne Stetski, Kootenay-Columbia

  • Paul Taylor, Parkdale-High Park

  • Lenore Zann, Cumberland-Colchester

Inquiries about candidates should be made directly to their respective campaigns.