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Local kids call on their MP for action on climate change

The group wrote Love Letters to the Planet around Valentines Day and delivered them to Paul Manly
Cova Paydli, Laila Tonnellier, Nita Tonnellier, Annika Harvey, and Heaton Paydli hand delivered their Love Letters to the Planet to Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP, Paul Manly (Cole Schisler photo)

Right around Valentine’s Day, a group of local kids got together and wrote love letters – not to their valentines, but to the planet.

Danielle Paydli organized the group of behalf of For Our Kids, a non-profit organization that advocates for action on the climate crisis to protect future generations. The group brought together kids from both Nanaimo and Ladysmith. The kids decided they wanted to deliver their letters in person to their MP, Paul Manly.

On March 6, Cova Paydli, Laila Tonnellier, Nita Tonnellier, Annika Harvey, Heaton Paydli, Felix Harvey, along with parents Danielle Paydli, Darrell Harvey, and Katharine Rollwagen met with Manly to deliver their message.

“The kids wanted to actually meet the person they were writing these letters to,” Paydli said.

Each of the kids got the opportunity to ask Manly questions about what was being done in Parliament to address climate change, and about what he can do as an MP to help mitigate climate impacts.

“I was excited,” Laila Tonnellier said. “We had studied [Paul] at school and I told them I was doing this. My friends said ‘Laila, you have to do this right!’ I think they’ll take action on climate change in Ottawa, but I don’t know if they’ll listen to a bunch of children and take them seriously.”

Tonnellier is 10 years old, and among the oldest of the delegation.

For his part, Manly said he would speak to his colleagues in parliament about the letters he received.

“I’m not allowed to bring props into the house of commons, but I can tell them about it,” he said.

The Love Letters to the Planet will be kept as art in Manly’s Ottawa office.

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