TORONTO (CANADA) APRIL 25, 2007 – Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group of Companies, and Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten, appeared in Toronto this morning to announce today’s launch of FLICK OFF – a cross-country initiative designed to educate Canadians about the devastating effects of global warming and motivate people to do something about it.
Virgin Mobile, MuchMusic, Roots, Environmental Defence and the Province of Ontario have joined forces to create a dynamic coalition to communicate a simple message: it’s no longer enough to worry about global warming, it’s time to take action and encourage everyone to join in.
Canadians are encouraged to participate in FLICK OFF by logging on to www.FLICKOFF.org where they’ll find everything they need to know about the climate crisis and easy-to-implement solutions. Canadians can get informed, calculate their CO2 emissions, make a pledge to cut their energy consumption, and order a guerrilla-style action kit.
On his way to Iqaluit, Nunavut to witness first-hand the dramatic impact of global warming on Northern Canada, Sir Richard Branson stopped in to help launch FLICK OFF and let Canadians know that “a huge percentage of the population isn’t aware of how big and positive an impact they can have on the environment by doing simple things. Our goal as a partner in FLICK OFF is to inform, challenge and inspire people to be concerned and to give them a tool to take action. We’re encouraging Canadians to challenge their friends, family and neighbours to get involved and be excited about the difference they can make in the world around them.”
“Climate change is the defining issue of our generation and a challenge no government can take on alone,” Environment Minister Laurel Broten said. “The McGuinty government is proud to be part of this coalition that empowers Ontarians to take action. I challenge my provincial counterparts across Canada to join us. The planet cannot wait.”
The FLICK OFF Web site provides a range of information and activities for Canadians including:

   Global warming 101: FLICKOFF.org is a clear, easy-to-read Web site about climate change. It describes the causes, effects and solutions to global warming in a conversational, tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek style. It also features visually resplendent photos by Canadian photographers Jesse Boles and Mark Coatsworth.

   Steps to reduce emissions: The site is replete with tips on how people can immediately reduce their impact on the environment.

   Manage your damage: When we burn fossil fuels to create energy, we produce CO2. CO2 is the main cause of global warming. www.FLICKOFF.org includes a carbon calculator that enables people to measure their individual CO2 emissions, and learn how much they will save by making simple, specific changes to their daily routine and purchasing habits.
Canada’s first ever FLICK-FEST. In the coming weeks, FLICK OFF will also announce a nationwide challenge to see which community or city in Canada can cut their emissions the most per capita over the course of the summer. The winning community will be rewarded with a FLICK-FEST, their very own carbon-neutral music festival featuring some of Canada’s best-known bands.

SPREAD THE WORD
In addition to Sir Richard Branson and Minister Broten, FLICK OFF is driven by a dynamic group of founders including: Environmental Defence; Virgin Mobile Canada; Roots; and MuchMusic along with other stations from CHUM Television including Citytv.
“For almost 30 years now, people have been told the crisis is coming,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “But it’s here, and we’ve got to make fundamental changes. As a father, I want to help make those changes—and think people are ready to do what our governments and businesses didn’t.”
Virgin Mobile Canada will help spread the word about FLICK OFF on their website, via text and at both Virgin Festivals in Vancouver and Toronto. “At Virgin Mobile, we’re taking Virgin’s global vision to do what we can to protect the environment and are continually focused on making positive changes in Canada. FLICK OFF really gives us the opportunity to help Canadians, including our customers and employees, take action and make a difference every day,” said Nathan Rosenberg, Chief Marketing Officer, Virgin Mobile Canada.
MuchMusic will be promoting FLICK OFF on multiple platforms, kicking off with a teaser that debuts today on stations reaching Canadians nationwide. MuchMusic’s support also includes integrated content throughout the program schedule, while www.muchmusic.com features custom content designed to inspire youth to take action.
“This edgy campaign is a perfect fit for Much,” said David Kines, VP, Music & Youth Services, CHUM Television. “New research has shown that Canadian youth care deeply about the environment but also feel it’s too difficult to be eco-conscious. Much is proud to be spreading the word about FLICK OFF and we’re especially excited about engaging youth to do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Roots will be launching FLICK OFF wear, a branded organic cotton clothing line which is now available in Roots stores across Canada. To help raise funds for FLICK OFF, Roots will also be selling action kits and FLICK OFF bracelets. The action kits feature stickers, flyers, a stencil, ring bands and “Climate Change,” by Shelley Tanaka.
“Business can be part of the solution,” said Michael Budman of Roots. “But the first step is to stop denying that there’s a problem for someone else to solve. We’re all in this together. Awareness is only part of our challenge – action is what’s needed, and our goal is to get as many people as we can to log on to the website and then FLICK OFF.”
ABOUT FLICK OFF
FLICK OFF (www.flickoff.org) is a movement to fight global warming. It is a unique partnership among a national environmental group, companies, media and government: Environmental Defence, Virgin Mobile Canada, Roots, MuchMusic and the Government of Ontario.

For more information, or to arrange interviews with FLICK OFF partners, please contact:

Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence
(416) 323-9521 ext. 232 / (647) 280-9521 (cell)

 

NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS:

Photos to accompany this release are available on CNW

NOTE TO ASSIGNMENT DESKS:

B-roll footage and clips to be released Wednesday, April 25, 1:00 – 1:30 p.m. EDT

CO‑ORDINATES:

·    Anik F2 C band analogue, Transponder 3B
Audio subcarrier 6.2 and 6.8
Downlink frequency 3820 vertical 

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