WATERLOO, Ont. (CUP) — Dante Ryel, a 26-year-old Waterloo resident, is almost four weeks into his fast to get Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, passed.
In maintaining a diet of only water and supplements, he had lost 17 pounds by the end of last week — however, he explained then, “I’m doing good. I saw my doctor yesterday, everything seems alright.”
The Facebook group “Starving for Change,” administrated by Ryel, has been very supportive. So far, over 1500 members have joined the group.
On March 16, over 20 members from the Facebook group took part in a 24-hour fast to show their commitment to this environmental issue.
“It was successful, it was comforting knowing that people are fasting along with me,” Ryel said.
A lot of people are working extremely hard, but Ryel is surprised older people are doing a good majority of the legwork in support of Bill C-311. “It’s our generation’s issue, so I expected a lot more involvement from younger Canadian citizens,” he said.
Ryel admitted that he was not sure if his actions through the Facebook group would be enough to have his voice heard and stressed that networking is the key to raising awareness. He hopes that people will invite each other to the Facebook group as a way to draw more attention to the movement.
There have not been any indications from the Liberal Party that they either support or are against the bill, which was originally brought forward by the NDP.
Bill C-311, first proposed in February 2009 by NDP MP Bruce Hyer, commits Canada to ambitious greenhouse gas targets.
The goal is to ensure that the country meets previous global climate change obligations as stated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by getting emissions to a level that is 25 per cent below the 1990 level by 2020, and 80 per cent below the 1990 level by 2050.
The bill is expected to be debated in the House of Commons in the coming days.
Ryel has said he will immediately start eating again once the bill gets Senate sponsorship, though he’s set a personal deadline to end by March 31. Almost a month in, Ryel said he’s coping well and isn’t having too many cravings for food.
When asked what will be his first meal, he modestly replied, “I’ll probably just have cereal for breakfast.”
Ryel acknowledged that by making such drastic changes to his food intake, he will have to ease into what he eats and satisfy his cravings eventually.
To help promote Bill C-311 and the importance of the fast, Ryel has created a new Youtube video.
He will also be creating another Youtube video once the fast is completed.