Stéphane Boyer designated as Earth Day Canada’s national spokesperson

‘Active and public transportation are the linchpins for the sustainable evolution,’ says Laval’s mayor

Adding to the City of Laval’s reputation for endorsing measures that mitigate the impacts of climate change, Mayor Stéphane Boyer revealed last week that he has agreed to serve as the national spokesperson for Earth Day Canada’s 2024 campaign.

Montreal-based Earth Day Canada is an environmental organization that helps individuals, municipalities and organizations reduce their impact on the environment by taking concrete action on Earth Day and every other day of the year.

Clockwise from upper left, Laval mayor Stéphane Boyer, public relations advisor Dario Iezzoni, EY Canada corporate responsibility leader Laura Schlee and Valérie Mallamo, executive director of Earth Day Canada. (Screengrab: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

Earth Day is on April 22

In addition to its large-scale awareness campaign for Earth Day, which is on April 22, Earth Day Canada rolls out environmental programs and projects in areas such as waste management, food waste and sustainable mobility.

Earth Day Canada’s 2024 campaign spotlights active and public transport. The campaign, which runs until Earth Day, features an animated character promoting an active lifestyle, inspiring Canadians to opt for active and public transport solutions beyond Earth Day.

For the fourth consecutive year, Earth Day Canada’s Committed Municipalities project strengthens partnerships with municipalities across Canada. Launched in 2020, the initiative has rallied over 150 municipalities committed to enhancing environmental conservation and sustainable transportation.

Active and public transit

Laval mayor Stéphane Boyer (seen here during Earth Day Canada’s online announcement) is the national spokesperson for Earth Day 2024. (Screengrab: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

“Active and public transportation are the linchpins for the sustainable evolution of our urban and rural communities,” Mayor Boyer said during an online launch event. “Embracing these eco-friendly transportation modes transcends environmental responsibility, fostering a move towards more cohesive and healthier societies.

“The commitment to public transit, as well as cycling and pedestrian transit options, represents a vital investment in enhancing the well-being of our present and future generations,” he continued.

“The Committed Municipalities project has showcased the concrete benefits of local initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable mobility. Championing these efforts within our towns and cities marks a significant stride towards cultivating a society that prioritizes health and respects our planet.”

Laval’s Earth Day events

To celebrate the campaign’s kickoff, a special event was scheduled in Laval, led by Mayor Boyer. The city’s campaign is set to feature an extensive array of activities and events, all designed to enlighten and motivate Canadians and Quebecers towards adopting environmentally beneficial behaviors.

For comprehensive information on this diverse and engaging lineup, the Earth Day website will serve as the go-to resource, ensuring participants have access to all they need to get involved and make a positive impact on the planet. Earth Day Canada hopes that employers and municipalities will help facilitate and endorse active and public transportation, advocating for a sustainable shift not just on Earth Day, but all year round.

Canadians for sustainability

A recent survey by Ipsos, commissioned by Earth Day Canada, revealed that while many Canadians are behind the wheel for their daily commute, a considerable number are open to more sustainable alternatives:

● While 54% of employed Canadians drive to work, there’s a strong inclination towards eco-friendlier commuting methods;

● 76% of employed Canadians express a preference for walking or biking;

● More than half (66 %) would like to use a greener way to commute;

● 67% of employed respondents are willing to engage in employer organized carpooling initiatives on Earth Day, with 49% open to participating in these programs if they were available year-round.

Employers doing their bit

The findings suggest a potential role for employers in addressing climate change through the promotion of sustainable commuting practices. Strategies for employers could include offering subsidies for monthly transit passes or bicycle maintenance, and encouraging carpooling, particularly in rural areas where access to active and public transportation may be restricted.

Many of these strategies are already being deployed by organizations such as EY (Ernst & Young) Canada. “We believe that every organization has an obligation to foster environmental stewardship,” said Laura Schlee, corporate responsibility leader at the professional management services company.

A new way to commute

“Transform your commute into an opportunity to cultivate healthy habits and embrace sustainable lifestyle,” said Valérie Mallamo, Executive Director of Earth Day Canada.

“If you find the infrastructure in your area less than ideal, fear not—there’s a wealth of alternatives at your disposal,” she added. “From leveraging public transport to joining a carpool, every choice you make contributes to a healthier planet. Remember, celebrating Earth Day isn’t just a once-a-year commitment; it’s a daily dedication to our planet’s well-being.”

Until April 22, many Canadians are embracing sustainable transportation methods such as biking, walking, running, using public transit, or carpooling are invited to register at for a chance to win exciting prizes. Participants can also choose to engage through the Strava app by opting into the Earth Day challenge, further amplifying the campaign’s reach.