By Dylan McAteer
If you’ve spent any time on a busy street corner in Halifax, you have likely talked to a canvasser.
“Canvassing is huge for us, it’s our central means of promoting our cause,” says Ryan O’Quinn, coordinator for the Ecology Action Centre.
The EAC is the largest environmental activist group in Nova Scotia and it raises money and awareness by talking face-to-face with people on the street.
“Conversation is a very powerful thing. It’s what we rely on,” says O’Quinn. “It’s critical to have dependable funding, otherwise we can’t make a difference.”
The number of EAC members has doubled to more than a thousand since the Centre began canvassing last year.
“We have ideas, we actually take action and then we actually make change,” says O’Quinn. “When we canvass, we are informing the population and trying to create relationships in our community.”
The EAC has been building relationships since 1971 when it was founded by several students in a Dalhousie course, Living Ecology. Today, the Centre has more than 200 volunteers, including canvasser Emma Norton.
“It’s great to talk to people one-on-one about real change in the world,” says Norton. “It’s amazing how many people know about ecological issues but had never heard of us.”