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Climate Change Activist Aliya Hirji on Creating a Sustainable Financial Market in Canada

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

National Observer - Green bonds Article

Aliya Hirji is a Grade 11 Student at Bayview Glen and a passionate environmental crusader. As one of the many brilliant activists working both inside and outside of our school community, we want to shine a spotlight on the impressive and inspiring work that she is doing right now to tackle climate change and promote “green investments” with Fridays for Future Toronto and Shift Action

Aliya says:  

“Most recently I have been working with Shift Action as a youth organizer to divest the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The OTPP invests billions of teachers' retirement savings in oil, gas, and coal. As a young person, this concerns me as the retirement savings of educators who prepare me for my future, fight my efforts in keeping said future livable. 

On October 15, 2020, this open letter to the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan was launched for teachers to show their commitment. 

On January 7, 2021 Shift Action and Fridays for Future Toronto released a video titled A Message from the Students of Ontario, featuring Aliya and many other voices of students concerned about the climate crisis, making a plea directly to teachers to align their pension with a livable climate. 

Bayview Glen teachers are not part of the pension fund, but I still encouraged them to help amplify our voices and share this information with colleagues and on social media. 

Investments that profit from the climate crisis jeopardize our futures-- teachers and students alike; it will take all of us to protect it.” 

Aliya’s inspiring work was also featured in Canada’s National Observer back in December 2020, with a focus on “green bonds”, investments in sustainable organizations and industries, as well as how our federal government is playing a part in developing a well-functioning sustainable finance market in Canada: 

National Observer - Green bonds are going from 'niche' to 'mainstream': Can Canada catch up? By David McKie, December 14th 2020 

On January 7, 2021 Aliya was interviewed live on CBC’s Metro Morning Radio Show discussing the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and how it is affecting our livable climate. Listen to a recording of the episode here: 


Not only are BVG students talented academically, but Aliya is an example of one of our bright young people striving for positive change. Her continued efforts in bettering the lives of Canadians reinforces what an incredible community Bayview Glen continues to be. Follow @fridaysforfutureto to see their latest campaigning updates.