'There’s no Planet B': Global climate strike reaches Calgary
TORONTO -- Calgary, a city steeped in Canada’s oil industry, was among the cities host to a group of youth-led protesters marching through the streets to join the global climate strikes on Friday.
Packs of people flooded the downtown area with colourful signs and chants, calling for a change in the way we are currently failing to respond to the climate crisis.
“What do we want?” came the cry through a megaphone.
“Climate action!” the crowd replied.
“When do we want it?”
The demonstration was organized by Fridays for Future, inspired by teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Similar protests occurred all over Canada and the world as a whole, with protests from Australia to Germany.
The climate crisis affects everyone on the planet, but particularly young people, who are set to inherit a world that has been shaped by their parents’ actions.
As one young Calgary marcher told CTV News Calgary, “there’s no Planet B.”
Another marcher, Archie Sarjeant, told CTV News Calgary that he grew up in the city but hasn’t seen enough discussion about climate change until now.
“I think it’s becoming an incredibly important voting issue,” said the 30-year-old while holding a placard asking politicians to explain their position on climate change.
“And if we keep going this way maybe we’ll achieve actual change.”
The Calgary protesters hosted a “die in” on the steps of the Calgary Municipal Building, where participants collapsed on the ground. Photos of the prone figures were posted on Twitter, and among the participants was federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.
“I’ve never believed Albertans don’t care (about the environment),” May told CTV News Calgary.
She was campaigning in Calgary that day to promote her plan for more public transportation, and has also said that a Green Party government would halt the production of combustion-powered vehicles by 2030.
She said it was important to “come together and plan for a future where the people who are working in the fossil fuel sector today are working in renewable energy tomorrow.”
Other federal leaders have also spoken about their plans to tackle the climate crisis.
The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh has pledged to end fossil fuel subsidies and invest in renewable energy.
Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party, was the one to introduce the carbon tax, and says more action is coming, though details of what that is are unclear at this point.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, on the other hand, has vowed to kill the carbon tax. However, he said he will review all business subsidy programs, including fossil fuel subsidies.
More marches are planned across Canada this week, including one in Toronto on Friday, Sept. 27.