Environmentalist David Suzuki spoke to reporters after signing the city's golden book with Mayor Valérie Plante at City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. Suzuki, Stephen Lewis and other conservationists will speak about the current issues facing young people who inherit the challenges of a planet undergoing profound change as part of their Climate First Tour, Tuesday, Oct. 1 at the Rialto Theatre on Park Ave. More details at climatefirsttour.ca. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette
Following similar protests around the world, an estimated 300,000 people are expected to participate in what’s being described as a historic climate march in Montreal on Friday.
The idea is for students and adults to leave school and work to take a stand (and a long walk), as they send a strong and united message that addressing climate change cant wait. Having more than one strike so close together helps the movement power along, according to website Global Climate Strike Net, run by 350.org.
The demonstration is part of a global movement to demand action against climate change and will be marked by Swedish schoolgirl activist Greta Thunberg visiting the city.
The march will begin at noon, with people being asked to gather at the George-Étienne Cartier Monument in Mount Royal Park.
Organizers have not announced the march’s route or end point, saying they don’t want to unveil more details for “logistical and security reasons.”
The Montreal police force is warning motorists to avoid a large area between Berri and Peel Sts., as well as between St-Joseph Blvd. and de la Commune St.
A global climate strike on September 20th kicked off a week of climate-related activities, culminating in a second global strike on Friday. Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg was the primary inspiration for young people, calling for students to take action.
Robert-Bourassa Blvd. and the Bonaventure Expressway will be completely closed throughout the day. Two lanes will be open on the Victoria Bridge toward the South Shore, but the bridge will be closed toward Montreal.
Public transit will be free in Montreal and on the South Shore and municipalities north of Montreal, but more than 50 bus lines and trains will be cancelled because of the rally.
Bus lines affected in Montreal include the 24 on Sherbrooke St., the 80 along Parc Ave., the 427 Express on St-Joseph Blvd. and the 465 Express on Côte-des-Neiges Rd., among others. The 747 shuttle line will only be in service between the Lionel-Groulx métro station and the Montreal airport. An increase in ridership is expected on the métro system’s Orange, Green and Yellow lines.
Some of the cities where strikes will also be held are, Vancouver, Thunder Bay, Ont., Victoria, Winnipeg, Yellowknife, Calgary, Regina, Edmonton, St. Johns, N.L., Halifax and Toronto.
According to Exo, service will be interrupted as of 11 a.m. on all lines serving the Mansfield and downtown stations. The lines will be redirected toward the Longueuil and Angrignon stations.
Part of the Fridays for Future and Global Climate Strike movements that have been growing in popularity, the march follows a series of similar demonstrations held in Montreal in the spring.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is expecting an estimated 300,000 people to come out on Friday and take part in the planned climate march.
-Robert-Bourassa Blvd, the Bonaventure expressway and the access from the Ville-Marie expressway, will be closed in both directions
The event is part of a global climate strike with participants calling for action to address the climate crisis.
The march is supposed to start at 12 p.m. on Friday at the Sir George-Étienne Cartier monument, at the foot of Mount Royal on Parc Avenue.
The exact route of the march is unclear. In a Facebook post, one of the organizers said they will keep the route and the final destination of the march under wraps for "security and logistical reasons."
There will be speeches at the end of the march, and Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg will meet with Plante and receive the keys to the city.
Those with limited mobility can join the march by meeting at Place de la Paix, on St-Laurent Boulevard, said an organizer.
The SPVM is asking Montrealers to plan ahead for transportation on Friday — and says that moving around will be particularly difficult between Berri and Peel, and between Saint-Joseph, and de la Commmune.
Given the large number of participants expected to attend the march, organizers are recommending people use public transit to get to the march.
Plante announced public transit in Montreal will be free for users on Friday, as will public transit on Montreal's North and South shores.
There will be a Bixi valet service at two stations closest to the starting point of the march, on Parc Avenue and on Mont-Royal Avenue.
The Montreal rally, which is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of protesters, will start at the George-Étienne Cartier statue in Mount-Royal Park at 12 p.m.
Starting at 11 a.m., all Exo and RTL buses that stop at the Mansfield Street and Bonaventure downtown terminals will be redirected to the Longueuil and Angrignon terminals.
After the march, Thunberg, a prominent voice in the fight against the climate crisis, has been invited to city hall to receive a key to the city from the mayor.
In anticipation of the big march, several school boards, universities, and CEGEPs in Montreal have cancelled classes.
The Lester B. Pearson School Board and the Commission Scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) have pedagogical days on Sep. 27.
The English Montreal School Board will hold classes as usual, but says parents can give students permission to attend the march.
Classes will also be held as usual at Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys and Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'île.
Concordia University, University de Montreal, Université du Québec à Montréal have cancelled afternoon classes. McGill University has not officially cancelled classes.
Several CEGEPs, including Dawson College, Vanier College, Cégep du Vieux Montreal, and Cégep de Saint-Laurent have cancelled classes.
Concordia University said it will be cancelling classes on Friday afternoon. McGill University will not be cancelling classes.
Ivan Manabo, co-owner of Beardlington barber shop in Verdun, told CBC News that he will close down on Friday so that staff can attend the march.
"We all have our part to play," he said. "It's not about how much money you're making, its mostly about learning how to give back."
While some places are shutting down for the day, other businesses are finding unique ways to contribute.
Bar Palco, on Wellington Street, will be serving a special cocktail called the "Green New Deal" in honour of the climate strike, and donating $5 from every sale to a local urban agriculture initiative.
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