A group of people of all ages hailing from Campbell River, Quadra Island and Black Creek gathered at MP Rachel Blaney’s office on Thursday morning to call on her to sign a pledge to commit to climate action.
The event was part of a Canada-wide day of action on the climate crisis organized by 350.org. The demonstrators presented Blaney’s staff (Blaney was away from Campbell River on Thursday) with a pledge for the MP to sign, showing her commitment to using her office to fight climate change.
“If we are to have a chance to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees centigrade, all new investment in fossil fuel infrastructure has to end now. There’s major projects in Canada that are up for approval. We have TMX, we have Coastal Gas Link, etc. etc. These need to stop,” said Don Goodeve, one of the organizers of the event.
“In the last five years the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) said this is the decade. We have to change now. At 1.1 degrees of warming, this is what we’re experiencing. 1.5 is going to be worse. Currently, if we do not change course, we are on track for three degrees and 4 degrees of warming this century. Everything is moving faster than the conservative predictions of the IPCC. This is urgent, this is a crisis, this is an emergency and we need action now.”
Lucas Schuller, one of Blaney’s staff members, spoke to the crowd, reading a statement Blaney had prepared in advance.
“Once again, our government is failing to show the urgency that you all know is required right now,” the statement said. “We need to act quickly to help workers transition to good jobs that will position us to fight climate change and to build the economy of the future. This work needs to be done working with Indigenous communities as equal partners in job creation and infrastructure investments that reduce our climate footprint now, and that prepare our communities for the extreme weather events that are becoming more and more common.”
It also included current and past actions Blaney has taken to combat climate change, including a proposal that all economic recovery projects include a focus on climate change, and seconding a motion to invest in a Green New Deal.
“The pandemic has shown us what is possible when government takes a crisis seriously. It has also shown us that when the government has to work with other parties and compromise to get urgent policy passed, the results can be better for all of us,” it continued.
Jessica Wegg, the Green Party candidate for the North Island-Powell River riding in the next federal election was present at the rally. She told the Mirror that the real change has to come from those with more power than individuals.
“The bottom line is that the government needs to be doing something, and that’s not what we’re seeing right now,” she said. “There are lots of little thigns that we as citizens can do, but we need the government support behind us to be making the tough choices that can really make an impact on the climate crisis, and we need action now.”