Climate action strikes to protest the use of fossil fuels will be held tomorrow as the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York nears.
Strikes are being held in Powell River, Nanaimo, Parksville and Victoria among other areas in the province, the country and around the world.
According to qathet Climate Alliance board member Jan Slakov, the strikes are in support of the global climate strike effort started by Greta Thundberg and is recognized as a “plea from younger generations” to act.
She says over the years, she has seen many events in Powell River that are causing concern, prompting her and others to be out supporting the strikes.
“The pulp mill closed, and it’s left a lot of contaminated waste. We need to be protecting nature and restoring nature wherever it is,” said Slakov.
“The pulp mill used energy from a dam that was built on Powell River, and there’s local efforts for energy democracy that there should be some local say on where that energy goes.”
Slakov adds they have also been working to get council and local governments to support the sue big oil movement.
“In B.C. in particular there is an effort to get local municipalities to have a class action lawsuit because they’re saddled with the costs of rebuilding infrastructure and strengthening infrastructure to deal with heavy rainfalls and fires,” said Slakov.
She says they are always hoping that political leaders take power where they can and make laws that “protect citizens,” and to not invest and subsidize fossil fuels.
“We have responsibility as consumers. It’s just that we can’t actually turn this around by ourselves as consumers and citizens,” she said. “We really need our government to act.”
In Powell River, they will be holding the climate strike after school hours at 3:30 p.m. in Westview City Hall, and they will be walking to the corner of Marine and Alberni streets.
“I know that when we get there, we’ll just have lots to say to each other. It’s always good to be together and share news about the latest efforts,” said Slakov. “It’s a great time to connect and it looks like we’re going to have a wonderful day for it as well.”
Strikes will also be held in Parksville at the town hall, Nanaimo at Maffeo Sutton Park, and Victoria in front of the B.C. Legislature.