Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #10, Naomi Klein
Our annual ranking of the people whose smarts, connections and clout are changing the city as we know it
Author and Activist
10 Last year, Klein published This Changes Everything, a powerhouse polemic against the effects of uncontrolled capitalism on the environment. This year, she turned the book’s premise into a political and social crusade. The Leap Manifesto, a list of lofty demands, calls for 100 per cent of Canada’s electricity to come from renewable resources within two decades and a fossil fuel–free Canadian economy by 2050. The launch of the movement coincided, not accidentally, with the TIFF premiere of a documentary based on Klein’s book (directed by her husband, Avi Lewis) and the federal election campaign. Climate change deniers and skittish politicians may be quick to pooh-pooh Klein and co., but her manifesto has already drawn some 30,000 signatories, including David Suzuki, Stephen Lewis, Leonard Cohen and Rachel McAdams. Last summer, she was invited to the Vatican to address Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change.
Spreading the gospel. Throughout the winter and spring of 2016, Klein is slated to talk at dozens of university campuses across North America.