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The FLICK OFF Express rides the Ontario rails to get university students on track with climate change

Environmental experts from David Suzuki Foundation, opinion leaders, advocates and cool Canadian bands along for the ride

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TORONTO, September 22, 2008 — FLICK OFF, the irreverent yet high-profile environmental advocacy movement launched last year to heighten awareness of climate change, today announced the next stop (in fact, four stops in October) on its journey to inspire Canadians to take action against climate change.

The FLICK OFF Express, presented by RBC, will travel by train carrying students, activists, advocates, environmental experts and cool Canadian musical artists Constantines and Spiral Beach, on a four-day tour that will stop at four Ontario universities for a rally and live concert.

"We're encouraging Ontario university and college students to stand up for the environment, take individual action, and ask our business and community leaders to make plans to produce 100 per cent of our electricity from renewable energy sources," said Gill Deacon, FLICK OFF supporter, author, broadcaster and environmentalist. "Attend the rallies, sign our petitions and join the FLICK OFF movement. The time to act is now!"

The FLICK OFF Express stops include:

  • Wednesday, October 15, 2:00pm-3:30pm
    University of Western Ontario outside University Community Centre
  • Thursday, October 16, 12:30pm-2:00pm
    York University, Vanier Field
  • Friday, October 17, 3:30pm-5:00pm
    Queen's University, Agnes Benedickson Field
  • Saturday, October 18, 2:30pm-4:00pm
    University of Ottawa, Confederation Park

At each stop, campus rallies will mobilize thousands of Ontario students who, along with the FLICK OFF Express passengers, will deliberate and demonstrate their commitment to changing habits that contribute to climate change. Students across Southern Ontario will pledge to FLICK OFF bottled water, the car, fossil fuels and more.

Additionally, through a unique RBC/FLICK OFF Campus Challenge, students can register online at flickoff.org, to commit to an energy saving activity and have the chance to win prizes. The RBC | FLICK OFF Campus Challenge, which runs until October 5, will award four grand prize winners plus two friends each with the opportunity to travel aboard the FLICK OFF Express from Kingston to Ottawa, and meet personally with Dr. David Suzuki.

Students increase their chances of winning by committing to additional actions like using public transit, eating locally-grown foods, choosing not to buy bottled water, switching to electronic bank statements and spreading the word to their friends. As part of its campaign to foster a culture of water stewardship in Canada and abroad, RBC will also run a complementary water bottle exchange at each rally.

The university tour is the next stage of the FLICK OFF initiative, and signifies a grassroots effort to incite action on the part of students to demand better from business and community leaders. "The torch is being passed to a new generation who will be bearing the brunt of the environmental damage being caused by reliance on fossil fuels," adds Gill Deacon. "It's the responsibility of individuals, governments and corporations together to FLICK OFF."

"MuchMusic is proud to return as the official broadcast sponsor of FLICK OFF," said David Kines, Senior Vice-President, Much MTV Group, CTV Inc. "With the extraordinary reaction to last year's campaign, Much audiences proved they care deeply about our energy crisis and depleting natural resources. Our goal is to remind youth, on every platform we have, to FLICK OFF and make simple, everyday changes that affect our planet in a positive way."

Also lending their support to the FLICK OFF Express and attending the rallies will be José Etcheverry and Dr. Faisal Moola of the David Suzuki Foundation, the FLICK OFF Express Scientific Partner. Each rally will feature a video message from Dr. Suzuki plus environmental expert guest speakers from the Foundation. Dr. Suzuki himself will be in Ottawa to welcome the FLICK OFF Express to its final destination, joining in the rally for climate change in the nation's capital and presenting the petitions in support of the program.

"The FLICK OFF Express is an exciting initiative that highlights the need for renewable sources to be the focal point of government energy policy, research and legislation immediately," said Dr. Suzuki. "We all have a role to play and action is required both individually and collectively right now if we are to have any impact on future climate change."

Hosting the rallies will be high-profile MuchMusic VJ Hannah Simone. In between destinations, those on board the train will participate in seminars and discussions on environmental issues moderated by the FLICK OFF Express experts and members of the David Suzuki Foundation. A documentary crew will film the proceedings for future broadcast.

Additional partners include exclusive broadcast sponsor MuchMusic, Virgin Mobile, Roots and MySpace Canada. For complete details on the FLICK OFF Express, visit www.flickoff.org

- 30 -

Media Contacts:

David Holmes, (416).628-5605

Chris McDowall, (416) 628-5648


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09/22/2008 11:14:35