By Roy L Hales
There were climate marches across the province. According to the Vancouver City Police, 100,000 marched through the province’s largest city. Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver estimates 250,000. Someone standing on the Cambie Street Bridge noted it took the demonstrators 74 minutes to cross. SaltSpring Live sent a video of the march in Victoria (embedded below), where 20,000 assembled at the provincial legislature. Some Campbell River demonstrators were among the 3,000 who marched through downtown Courtenay; only two dozen remained behind to protest at Campbell River’s City Hall (story below). A thousand gathered in Kelowna, 400 in Tofino, 400 in Whistler, a hundred in Port Alberni and several dozen in Powell River. I have yet to hear numbers for the events in Kamloops, Chilliwack, Langley, Penticton, Burns Lake, Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, Ucluelet, North Pender, Mayne, Gabriola and Denman Islands. British Columbia’s largest Climate March ever took place yesterday.
BC’s Largest Climate March
Close to 130,000 British Columbians most likely took to the streets, possibly more.
350Canada’s estimate of the number of Canadian participants, posted below, is too low. The were probably 700,000 to 800,000.
The Largest Climate March In Victoria
Largest Climate March in Vancouver
Campbell River & Courtenay
The turnout was smaller in Campbell River this week because of two other events. Some of the city’s high school students were part of the 3,000 demonstrators who assembled in Simms Millennium Park, Courtenay, and marched through that city. There was also a First Nations reconciliation event in Campbell River’s Spirit’s Square.
[The latter event] ” … was wonderful. There were orange sweaters indicating ‘I’m a supporter of the March’ all over the four quarters of that block. I’m guessing there would have been pretty close to 300,” said Quadra Island resident Rod Burns
Only two dozen people marched to Campbell River’s City Hall.
Burns adds, “There was a little six year-old girl. She had her sign and walked the 24 of us down to the intersection of Alder and St Anne’s. The amount of honking and support must be emphasized. The waving that people were giving us. We did a calculation of so many cars per minute and about 600 cars an hour were passing that intersection that were waving and honking to us. [Saying, in effect] ‘I wish I was there, but you have our support.'”
A Month Away From The Election
“We’re about a month away from the election, we want to bring climate to the forefront of everybody’s minds when it comes to that. This is one way we are doing that. I’m 17 years old, I can’t vote yet, a lot of people here are still in school, they can’t vote yet either. This is our way of making our voices heard,” said Samantha Lin, an organizer of Sustainabiliteens in Vancouver.
Our Political Leaders
The leaders of three of our largest political parties participated in Climate Marches. Jagmeet Singh was in Victoria. Elizabeth May and Justin Trudeau were among the 500,000 demonstrators in Montreal.
Canada Not Doing Enough
After meeting with the Prime Minister, Greta Thunberg told the media that Canada was not doing enough to address Climate Change.
“I try not to focus on the individuals and rather focus on the whole picture because … of course it’s easier to just blame someone and of course he has a lot of responsibility … and he, of course, is not doing enough. But we need to, because this is such a huge problem. This is a system that is wrong. So my message to all the politicians is the same — to just listen to the science and act on the science,” she told the media.
The only leader of a major party to skip the march, Andrew Scheer, told supporters in Coquitlam, “I find it interesting and ironic that Justin Trudeau is actively protesting his own government’s record on the environment.”
Premier John Horgan, who also did not participate, was at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver.
“I continue to engage with people all the time on these issues. We’re not just declaring emergencies, we’re taking action,” he told reporters.
“I would have liked to have seen John Horgan and all delegates to the UBCM to close down their computers, get out of their chairs, leave the building and join the local climate march. They should be the leaders but in fact they are the followers, and they are late,” responded Geraldine Kenny, one of the organizers of last week’s Climate March in Campbell River.
Top photo credit: Join us Sept 27 across Canada – the Wilderness Committee